TRACKING>>Presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party Atiku Abubakar
Volunteers to be Buhari’s witness at tribunal
Former member of the Sixth National Assembly, Senator Ayo Arise, has volunteered to stand as witness for President Muhammadu Buhari in the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party’s presidential flagbearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, challenging his (Buhari’s) re-election.
Arise, who spoke with reporters in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend, dismissed Atiku’s claim that he actually won the presidential election based on the certain fact he (Atiku) obtained from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He described Atiku’s claim as not only bogus but also not verifiable, saying: “It is a ploy to confuse the Judiciary in particular and Nigerians at large.”
The former legislator, who represented Ekiti North Senatorial District between 2007-2011, however, counselled the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to handle the matter with tact by adopting a scientific approach in puncturing the claim.
He said that this could only be achieved if the APC sought the services of credible Information and Communications Technology (ICT) experts as defence witnesses.
According to him: “Politicians are incurable optimists. And every politician who stands for election believes he or she would win, not minding the realities on the ground. For me, I think the first thing the public needs to know is how the INEC operates.
“Most importantly, the chains of collation of the results from the units through the wards, local councils, states and to the headquarters. Unless Atiku is telling us that there is another method employed by INEC which violates the norms we are used to.”
“Or maybe there is somebody somewhere who is concocting another figures for Atiku. The PDP flagbearer should also tell us how he got his information. Whether he officially applies for it, through the instrumentality of the Free of Information Act (FoI), I think the man must have been ripped off or scammed.
“For now, it is illegal for anyone to transmit the results of the elections from the units directly to the centre. Although we are progressing gradually, maybe that would happen in the future elections.
“Again, INEC, APC and the President must look for people with sound knowledge in ICT to tell the world what is possible and what is not. And I am ready to offer myself for free service as a defence witness against Atiku at the tribunal if the party consults me.”
Arise, also spoke on how APC leadership could manage the raging leadership tussles in the Green and Red chambers, saying: “Yes, it’s true that every member of the National Assembly is a potential leader, but we also have the House rules and guidelines which confer privileges to some members based on seniority. The APC leadership must therefore ensure balancing in sharing key positions. And it must engage members within its fold regularly. Above all, the issue of party discipline and supremacy must not be jettisoned or compromised.”
He said that any contender, who will be stepping down for another based on party arrangement and persuasion, could be given the committee of his or her choice.