Chief Taiwo Kuye is the Deputy Director of Volunteer and Support Groups of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State. In this interview with ANAYO EZUGWU, he speaks on the outcome of the presidential election, why the party lost in the general election, and the plans of the party to rebuild, among others.
What is your impression of the outcome of the general election?
The situation that followed the general election is clearly unexpected. Unexpected, even from somebody like the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, who had assured Nigerians, foreign, local observers and the international community about his transparency in this election. But at last, the reverse was the case. Why because he allowed himself to be used. Even in the face of a child of 10 years old, the elections were a sham and another diverse in political rigging. We’ve never had this kind of rigging in the political history of Nigeria. So, somebody promised us A but the next thing is that we meet our- selves in Z. You can imagine that kind of person, somebody that has lost integrity. If we were to be in a developed country, the man could have been sent to prison immediately but in the Nigerian context, some of the people in the corridors of power have enjoyed this kind of political calculations. And it cannot work because we can see that there is already a movement on the ground apart from the two leading political parties, there is a third force and movement of the youths but every- thing worked one-sided against those two political parties in this election.
As somebody who has been involved in Lagos politics and elections, were you surprised that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu lost the presidential election in the state?
I have said times without number that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Bola Tinubu were caught in tight corners during the presidential election. They did not expect it because their main focus was on PDP while Peter Obi and the Obidient Movement came out from the back door unknowingly to them. When they saw the results, there was nothing they could do to remedy the result because it was already in public view. But their main target was that they would not allow PDP to win the state because every strength they had politically were put against PDP but unknowingly to them the movement of the Obidient and about 25 per cent of Christian believers votes alongside that movement.
So, before they know it, they have surpassed everybody. That was what happened in the presidential election but the APC came back to retaliate against all these actions in the governorship election. If not Atiku Abubakar would have won properly in Lagos. And what actually affected was that part of our accumulated votes that we have been boosting before was carried over by the Labour Party. It is a very simple mathematics and nobody is worried about that because it is an un- intelligent politician that would not understand what played out in Lagos. Aside from that, there was no clear-cut election in Lagos.
Looking at the presidential election, are there states where you are surprised by the outcome either in favour or against your party?
Let us talk about the North-West, you know Atiku made very serious inroads into the North-West but this kind of rigging this time around is another scientific one, which you can- not even imagine. In the 2019 election, votes that came from Kaduna where Atiku won this time around were over one million votes and if you look at it now, Atiku scored less than 500,000 votes. If you look at a state like Kat- sina where President Muhammadu Buhari polled close to two mil- lion votes in 2019, Atiku won there with a slight margin of about 29,000 votes.
So, all these northern states Atiku Abubakar made inroads were cut to the barest minimum in connivance with the INEC and this is known to the INEC chairman. If not, Atiku had won the election and I told you before the election that with what is on the ground, Atiku would win on the first ballot. But aside from what happened, you can see from my analysis that Atiku made in- roads into the northwest, south- west and northeast. Base on that, if the results were the kind of results that had been coming be- fore, Atiku would have won on the first ballot.
But some people have blamed the loss on PDP’s inability to mend their fences before the election, don’t you think that lack of unity and peace in the party led to the loss of Atiku?
Where did we lose? Even states that we were not expected to win Atiku won there and he polled a total of about 6.9 million votes and Bola Tinubu defeated him with about one million votes despite all the rigging and everything that characterised the election. Look at the margin in Bauchi, Sokoto and Adamawa his home state, Atiku won with least than 300,000 votes. You can imagine all these kinds of because everybody has had that mindset of going to the election with the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) so that election can be credible but the reverse was the case.
What happened was that they gathered the states they wanted to manipulate the results for Tinubu to win and they successfully did that. You can imagine the results of the Bauchi and Gombe states were the same results and figures. Gombe State and Bauchi State had the same results and figures in the presidential election, the same cancelled votes and everything the same. But even upon all the rigging, they could do it properly. The results in Bauchi and Gombe alone are enough reason for PDP to go to tribunal. Look at Ogun and Oyo states and how they manufactured re- sults from the states.
I know the case of Oyo because of the G-5 governors but my happiness is that the majority of the governors in the group failed in the general election. Ortom completely lost his political credibility. He lost in the presidential, governorship, senatorial and House of Representatives. So, he is as good as dead politically. For Ugwuanyi, he was given a saving grace by the APC in Enugu State because they don’t want the APC candidate. So, Peter Mbah was supported mainly by APC votes including those of the PDP.
Ikpeazu is another deadwood and he is dead politically in the state. In their next life and political calculation, they will not play follow-follow politics again. Look at Kaduna, Atiku defeated them but the winning margin was cut to the ground. So, where Bola Tinubu wants to win, APC will have very big margin and that was the difference. We know that this was a very calculated scientific rigging.
With all that you have said, do you still have hope that Nigeria will one day get it right in terms of the electioneering process?
Until when we get to the end of this election, we will know what is going to be the fate of this country because the two political parties that are fight- ing APC are ready to prove their cases at the tribunal. But in fairness to God, President Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t have a hand in what happened on February 25. As a person, I can verge with that because I know the president very well. So, not until we get to the end of this matter at the tribunal and the Supreme Court, then we will know which Nigeria is heading to because it is not good for us.
With the outcome of both presidential and governorship elections where your party lost some states, do you still PDP as a strong opposition?
We lost some and we got some from them.
But the number of states you control now has reduced?
It did reduce; we went into the election with 13 states, now we have 14 states including Adamawa State. We lost two and got two from them. So, we are still on the contentious ground as a strong opposition politically anytime any day. We went to the general election with 13 states and we defeated them and they knew that we defeated them. My happiness is in Zamfara and Plateau states where Lalong was disgraced. Look at the way they rigged Kebbi and Sokoto states. As we speak, Kebbi State’s results have not been released.
Do you think that the decision of your party’s National Working Committee to suspend some members is the way to go at this point in time?
We have to rebuild. Some people are viruses and the majority of these fifth columnists in the party that have no job are viruses to the party. And their stay in the party is to spread this virus to other notable and loyal party members. So, if we don’t send them out of the party, we are still at the crossroad and a problem. The sanctions are going to move across the whole 36 states and it is coming to Lagos. Lagos is the worst where you see a state chairman of a party openly campaigning for the Labour Party when we had a standing candidate in the party.
Somebody said he is the chairman of the Presidential Campaign Council in Lagos and he worked against Atiku Abubakar in the election. And as I speak to you a whooping sum of thousands of dollars is still with this person unaccounted for. And the money is met for the presidential and National Assembly elections. It is moving around and the process of rebuilding PDP is coming to Lagos. When we get to the end of the total cleansing of the party, then we will re-strategise for another four years.
Why did the NWC leave out Wike, Ikpeazu, Ugwuanyi and Makinde in the sanctions?
They are still coming to that because they cannot leave them. It is going to be in batches because the NWC meets every week and at that meeting, there is always an agreement to do one thing or the other.
So, I know people like Wike, Makinde and the host of them cannot escape the axe. These people should leave the party and go away. The party will survive without them.
What do you think led to the total collapse of PDP in Lagos State in the last election?
There is nothing like the collapse of the PDP in Lagos. PDP was positive going into that election until the issue of merger started coming up and coupled with all these fifth columnists I told about but the majority of them had been defeated at the primaries by Jandor. He defeated about nine of them. Some left the party immediately and some are still at the party. Ade Dosunmu has left with some of those with our election money and this thing has been taken up by the Economic and Financial Crimes Com- mission (EFCC).
The chairman of PCC is there a d that one is trying to cover his defection in secrecy but we know that he is gone already to the APC. So, it is normal for you as a politician to defect to another party but if you want to leave resign honourably. And generally speaking, I told you that the election in Lagos was a sham because all the results you saw were allocated to parties by INEC in the state.