- Category: Politics
- Published on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 10:09
- Written by Punch
- Hits: 1389
He said a report by his polling agent at the primaries, Alhaji Halilu Usman, alleged that the party leadership and the Presidency carefully planned and executed the manipulation of the presidential primary.
Usman is a former deputy governor of old Plateau State. One of the issues raised by Abubakar in the petition was that there was no comprehensive delegates list, which he alleged aided the manipulation of the election process in favour of Jonathan.
He said further that the supplementary names were presented at the accreditation venue on the grounds that they had been purportedly endorsed by the chairmen of the state chapters of the PDP. He described this as a violation of Section 122 of the Electoral Act 2010.
He also said delegates were also not accorded their independence to make their choice, as in most cases, state governors led their delegations and directed the filling of the ballot papers by their appointed aides for Jonathan. The former vice-president added that there were no special congresses where the 774 special delegates who voted in the primary election were elected.
He also alleged that names of State Working Committee members and local government chairmen were changed a few days to the primary election while known supporters of the President were allowed to vote in place of disenfranchised statutory delegates.
The petition reads in part, “Accreditation of delegates was done in secrecy at state liaison offices in Abuja. The Atiku Campaign was deliberately denied access to these locations. In fact, state governors imprisoned delegates against their will at these locations throughout the night before the primary and bussed them to the venue of the convention the following day.
“President Jonathan doled out $7,000 to each of the delegates, thus using financial inducement to make them vote for him. In view of the above, we call on INEC to jettison the result of the said primary and cancel same as having not been conducted in accordance with the provisions of the extant Electoral Act 2010, P.D.P. Constitution 2009, and the P.D.P. Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2010.”
Efforts by our correspondent to speak with the National Publicity of the PDP, Prof. Rufai Alkali, were unsuccessful as calls made to his mobile telephone indicated that it was switched off.
However, a member of the PDP National Working Committee, who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, wondered what the former vice-president stood to gain with his petition. He said the party had already started the process of reconciliation.
A presidency source, who also spoke on the issue, described the allegations contained in the petition as ‘baseless.’