A former member of the National Assembly ,Senator Ayo Arise has offered to be a defence witness in the hearing of petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party ‘s (PDP) Presidential flag bearer Alhaji Atiku Abubakar challenging the re-lection of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last general election.
Arise who disclosed this to journalists in Ekiti urged the party to adopt a scientific approach in its defence.
Arise volunteered to stand as defence witness in the case even as he dismissed Atiku’s claim that he Atiku won the March 23 Presidential Election based on fact obtained from the server of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).
The APC chieftain in Ekiti State who described Atiku’s claim as not only bogus but also not verifiable said, “It is a ploy to confuse the judiciary in particular and Nigerians at large”.
The former federal legislator, who represented Ekiti North Senatorial District between 2007-2011 explained that adopting a tactical approach can only be achieved if the APC sought the services of credible Information and Communications Technology,(ICT)experts as defense 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 is that the public needs to known is how the INEC operates.
“Most importantly the chains of collation of the results from the Units through the wards ,Local Governments ,States and to the headquarters .
Unless Atiku is telling us that there is another method employed by INEC which violates the norm 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 applied for it ,through the instrumentality of the Free of Information Act (FoI) I think the man must have been ripped off or scammed “ Arise alleged .
He added that, “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 defense witness against Atiku at the tribunal ,if the party consults me,” he promised .
On how APC leadership could manage the raging leadership tussles in the Senate and House of Representatives, Arise admonished the party leadership to adopt a win win approach.
Part of the measures that could help the APC out of the quagmire , according to him is open voting system where members would mention their names ,party and the candidate of their choice in the full glare of the camera .
“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 folds regularly .Above all, the issue party discipline and supremacy must not be jettisoned or compromised .”
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