Mallam Lanre Issa Onilu, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has claimed that the party lost election in some key states, because it gave every Nigerian the opportunity to contest election freely without interference in the electoral process.
The APC lost the governorship elections in Imo, Adamawa, Bauchi and Oyo states, four states controlled by APC Governors.
The ruling party also lost the Presidential election in Oyo, Ondo and Edo states.
Onilu, speaking to reporters, said: “In Sokoto, we lost by less than 500 votes, but in Kano, we won by thousands of votes. Which one is narrow? Is it the Sokoto that PDP have claimed they have won with three hundred or Kano that we won by over 20,000 votes, so it is not narrow.
“But the important thing to note is that, and that’s my word. Being a journalist myself, I begin to ask myself, what has happened to us in the media? That our role is to interpret events.
“If we interpret these events very well, you will notice that you have a ruling party that is supposed to mobilize all the resources of coercion and all instrument of coercion to get what we want. You just said that we lost some States, major States.
“I will tell you that the only reason that happened was because this party has provided a platform for people to go and face the electorate and for the electorate to pass judgement on the people that have been put forward without anybody doing anything against it.
“We have just talked about Rivers State. Whatever was going on in Rivers State, as far as this party is concerned, belongs to people of Rivers State. Otherwise we will say okay, move in and do that. We have witnessed it in this country under PDP that the whole state would be locked down. Their own method is win by all means, let others go to tribunal. We didn’t apply that.
“You have seen major politicians in this country, big politicians in this country losing election in this country even in our own party. You saw a serving governor in Oyo State who couldn’t win one-third of the State. A governor who is governing the entire State couldn’t win one-third of the entire State to get to the Senate.
“You saw a struggle that is still going on in Akwa-Ibom State, with somebody of the calibre of Godswill Akpabio. Even though we know there are issues to that and it would be corrected but at the same time, we should have deployed, in such a way that we will want to arm-twist anybody or the system or manipulate the system.
“That question did not even arise at all and I think the media should step back from the millieu, so that they don’t get carried away by that kind of ‘flu’ politicians are going with so that they can see the issue clearly and say what is responsible for this.
“You could see that we lost Oyo in presidential election where we have a sitting governor. We lost Ondo where we have a sitting governor. But because we didn’t want to condone impunity, we did all we did in Imo in a way to undermine ourselves. The choice we had was to either to accept what would have amounted to the impunity, so that we could win Imo ordo the right thing. But we said no, we would rather do what is decent.”