Bode George, one of the Chieftain of the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has spoken on the possibility of President Muhammadu Buhari refusing to concede defeat and handover if he loses the 2019 presidential election.
There have been talks that the President may refuse to step aside if he eventual loses out, but George, former National Vice Chairman of the PDP (Southeast) believes Buhari may not want to burn his country by sitting tight.
George, who fielded questions from the Daily Sun, said what happened in recent elections in Ekiti and Osun States will not be allowed to repeat in 2019.
Asked if Buhari will hand over to the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, if he is defeated, George said, “He will. I believe that coming from our profession, that noble profession, where Justice, fairness, discipline are the key words that we are trained with, he will concede defeat.
“If a civilian can graciously hand over, why would you, a man who went through a disciplined professional career refuse to concede defeat? Why? Why would he want to burn his country? The will of the people must be respected.
“I saw what happened in Ekiti. That of Osun was absolutely shambolic, disgraceful. The rest of the world sounded a warning that, that was the worst thing they have ever heard or seen in Africa.
“Is that the kind of picture we are painting for the rest of the world? What will happen to investors who want to come here?
“We are 58 years old now. Are we still thinking back to 1963? No, please.
“I have spoken copiously about the attitude of the INEC people. Let them not burn this country.
“The pages of history will be replete with their inadequacies for generations of their own people to read about them.
“The professor who is there had worked with us before when we were at the National Conference.
“Let him not allow his name to be dragged into the mud. What is just is just. What is bad is bad.
“As a young man, let him stand up and defend what is right, so that the younger generation will remember him as a young man who stood with the truth.
“That is the only thing for him to do. He was honoured to be put there. He is not serving an individual. He is serving a system, a nation.
“A lot of people including me were not happy when we found a returning officer who couldn’t read 1, 2, and 3.
“A whole professor who is supposed to impart knowledge on our children was talking from both sides of the mouth. It was disgraceful. I have never seen anything like that in my life.
“That must repeat itself in 2019. That is the golden year when this nation will turn around for better.
“We are watching and I believe Nigerians understand what is going on.
“The message I will pass to Nigerians is let those in charge of the elections exhibit first class managerial skill, so that people will look at us and decide which party will manage the resources of our country best for their betterment.
“We saw it in Port Harcourt, as the people quietly moved to make a record, like a chainsaw they were moving; everybody peacefully casting their votes.
“At the end we should give kudos to Governor Okowa and his team in Convention Planning Committee.
“We must also give kudos to the management of the party. The fear before we went to Port Harcourt was that it won’t be fair and free, they gave us guarantees that it would be free and fair.
“Now, we have shown to the world that we can be better managers. We did indirect primaries.
“Those who claimed that they did direct primaries; I can see as a general and a strategist where they are going.
“They are pumping figures – 1.9m, 2.5m, when the population in that area is not up to that. They are preparing to announce wrong results.
“We will not accept it. We know the population. The offices of statistics, the National Population Commission know the population.
“What they are pumping now is greater than the total number of registered voters in the country. Very bad.
“They want to create figures where there is none and justify it. The total number of registered voters in Lagos is 9.9m.
“But when they were returning they overshot it, even as a party. In this 21st century? Don’t attempt it.
“We cannot afford to go back to the crises of 1963 in the western region. It started here and eventually the whole nation was engulfed in a civil war.
“Please, Oshiomhole should guard his mouth. He keeps saying provocative things suggestive of the fact that if we announce it heavens will not fall.
“At that time Edo state was part of Western region. I don’t know how old he was during the crises in 1963. Let him be very careful. This is not Labour union thing.”