A leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oladimeji Fabiyi, has criticized political activist Prince Deji Adeyanju for blaming former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu's victory in the 2023 presidential election.
According to him, arrogance, inadequate human relations, inability to control the opposition and some lesser known factors caused Atiku, the PDP candidate, to lose the 2023 polls.
Adeyanju, who made his views known in his New Year message, said if Atiku had managed the 2023 polls better, the results would have been different and Nigeria would have a different president.
The activist slammed Atiku for not working with the likes of Peter Obi of the Labor Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People's Party and FCT Minister Nyesom Wike and the G5, which ultimately paved the way for Tinubu's victory.
But in a statement on Thursday, Fabiyi disagreed with the role Adeyanju claimed Atiku played in Tinubu's victory.
He stated that Adeyanju should instead blame himself and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to the PDP leader, INEC should be blamed for not adhering to its self-imposed rules for the conduct of credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria.
His statement read: “I am compelled to disagree with you on your comments on the outcome of the 2023 presidential election and your uncharitable conclusion on the role played by Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, in the election.
“It was very unkind of you to suggest that Atiku could have deliberately checked the ambition of Peter Obi, in addition to the decision of the Wike-led G-5 to commit class suicide.
“The political reality of the 2023 election meant that these men were determined to pursue their ambitions, which is permitted by law. If you knew Atiku's political antecedents, you would know that Atiku is a multi-party democrat and would be the last person to stop an opponent's ambition for any reason.
“Should any blame be placed on the 2023 presidential election, that blame should go to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its failure to comply with its self-imposed rules to conduct credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria.
“A good number of civil society organizations and personalities, including even you, Deji Adeyanju, have been exploring electronic transmission of results. Curiously, INEC did not keep its words, and you here, Deji and others remained silent on the anomaly, choosing to blame opposition political figures for the shortcomings that defined the 2023 presidential election.
“INEC made a huge budget for the purchase of technologies and infrastructure to ensure transparency of elections, but the commission failed miserably on its own mandate.
“Civil society organizations, which should normally be the bulwark of democratic good governance, unscrupulously played a deaf ear to the development and turned away from the decision of the Court of Appeal when it declared that electronic voting was not a mandatory mandate on the implementation and collection of election results.
“On the contrary, unfortunately, no one heard your voice either, Deji, when Chicago State University released its findings that the truth was that Bola A. Tinubu had falsified his academic credentials. Atiku's lawyers fought vigorously to make discoveries of gross misconduct on the man who had just been elected President of Nigeria, but unfortunately neither you Deji nor any other civil society organization sparked an outcry demanding an investigation into Tinubu's fraudulent claims on his education. and his possible impeachment.
“Leave Atiku Abubakar from your blame game and rather look for the blame yourself.
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“How dare you blame Atiku who did the unthinkable and brought to light what the ruling establishment would like to keep hidden? Whose interest do you serve? Whatever interest it may be, I believe it is the interest of anti-democratic elements.”