A representative of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election campaign accused the media of spreading false results about the incumbent losing to challenger Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) opposition party in the national presidential election. The representative, Femi Fani-Kayode, also claimed Jonathan and his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are in fact winning the presidential election, without providing evidence to back that statement.
“We are deeply concerned by the level of disinformation and falsehood that is being peddled around by the friends of the opposition in the media and particularly their paid agents and associates on the social media about the results of Saturday’s elections,” Fani-Kayode said Sunday night in a press statement obtained by the Premium Times in Nigeria. “As we speak now, we are winning in 23 states and we have 64 percent, while the APC is winning in 14 states and has 36 percent.”
Fani-Kayode warned the APC “to stop spreading falsehood and telling dangerous lies,” saying Buhari and his party would “not take it very lightly” when their defeat is realized. Fani-Kayode said it was a close race, but the PDP was “cautiously confident” and “very optimistic of total victory,” claiming Jonathan’s campaign organization had information from its agents in every polling unit nationwide.
“No one must test our will by attempting to change these results, and the APC should desist from pushing this nation to the brink of fire, chaos and destruction with their dirty lies and propaganda,” the Premium Times quoted Fani-Kayode as saying in his statement.
The general elections Saturday ran over into Sunday, primarily because of technical problems with new biometric voting-card readers. About 350 polling stations were reopened the latter day. The country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it expects the initial results of the presidential election Saturday to be announced Tuesday, BBC News reported.
Violent attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants during the elections Saturday killed at least 41 people and caused others to flee polling stations in northeastern Nigeria. In the southern oil-producing region, thousands of Nigerians protested the alleged killings of opposition campaign workers and voter irregularities. Attahiru Jega, chairman of the INEC, promised Sunday an investigation of the irregularities, the Associated Press reported.
Nigeria’s presidential election this year has been largely peaceful compared with the one conducted four years ago. At least 800 people were killed in post-election violence in the country’s northeast after Jonathan beat Buhari in the 2011 presidential election.