Mr Yekini Nabena, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has described recent reports on the 2019 general elections by some international institutions as efforts to discredit the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Nabena said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, adding that the efforts were a wasted venture and would yield no results.
The statement was in reaction to reports recently released by the European Union (EU), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that the institutions had said that the 2019 general elections were marred by irregularities such as intimidation of voters and electoral officials, vote-buying, and election-related violence.
He said that President Buhari is a bastion of democracy and credible elections in Nigeria, following his recognition of June 12 as the country`s Democracy Day.
Nabena, who is the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, said the reports were part of international conspiracy against Nigeria, adding that it was a western agenda to destabilise democratic process in Nigeria.
According to him, the same Western forces have tried to use ethnic agenda, Boko Haram and other insecurity challenges to destabilise Nigeria, but failed because the APC administration is up to the task.
He said while there were isolated cases of irregularities, the 2019 general elections were credible and a marked improvement compared to the 2015 elections.
“The elections conducted under President Buhari witnessed increased sanctity of votes, increased use of the card readers and reduced prevalence of vote-buying.
“The election also witnessed reduced violence, ballot box snatching and announcement of fraudulent election results. It should be noted that no election is perfect anywhere in the world, including the United State of America.
“I suspect that the Buhari-led government’s economic diversification policy which has drastically reduced heavy reliance on the Western countries seems to be a major burden to some persons, hence the negative narrations,“ Nabena said.
He said it was surprising that these international election observers didn’t put into consideration how many states the APC as a ruling party lost to opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the said elections.
He wondered how the opposition had its way and won elections in some states if the elections were not credible.
The APC chieftain recalled that some international forces even before the 2019 general elections, had tried to use some of their agents in Nigeria to discredit President Buhari’s re-election bid.
“Some of them, who were direct beneficiaries of looted funds in the past, openly castigated the re-election plan through open letters and different conferences,” he said.
He also said that President Buhari had proved himself as a patriot and displayed a sincerity of purpose unlike past presidents who politicised and paid lip service to the June 12 struggle since 1999.
“Since 1999, former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan missed the opportunity to redress the wrongs of June 12, 1993, but instead chose to play politics with the issue.
“President Buhari in assenting into law June 12 as Nigeria’s democracy day, proved himself a patriot, democrat and strong defender of credible elections,“ he said.
Nabena added that by the action, President Buhari had undoubtedly been inducted into the Democracy Hall of Fame.