Segun Adewale, popularly called Aeroland, was Peoples Democratic Party’s senatorial candidate for Lagos West senatorial district. He spoke to selected journalists in Lagos on his ‘stolen mandate’ and the sabotage against his effort to reclaim the mandate in court. Excerpt!
There is an allegation that you were robbed of victory at the polls. What really happened?
It’s clear, we have ten local governments in our senatorial district and I won election in eight local governments but Solomon Olamilekan known as Iyayi was declared paradoxically. As am talking to you now I got the Certified True Copy, CTC, of the result that shows that I won. I scored above 372,000 votes, Iyayi scored I think 292,000 or so but his original result was altered and Iyayi was given 428,000 literally and Yayi was returned. I have gone to Tribunal but as I’m talking to you now I’ve been frustrated by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, it seems they are working in pari-pasu with the APC. The essential result that we need, the CTC copy for all the local governments that we need in court I can’t get it. We called INEC, we have petitioned them severally but INEC will complain that it is the local government and local government EO will say that it is the SOD leader that is withholding the document. My time is limited. It’s Tribunal, 21 days your case is thrown out that’s the point so, I’m frustrated because without the document there’s nothing anybody can do. Imagine Ifako Ijaye Local Government, the EO refuse to give us the document, Alimosho is the same, rather they will make available documents in places that I clearly won like Ojo, Amuwo-Odofin, Ajeromi-Ifelodu, Isolo and other local governments. All those areas there results are available. We said ok, since APC said they won me in Mushin no problem let me have the document but the document is not available. Do you know what they did the other day, the previous day we got the document of Alimosho Local Government, we got the CTC copy which I spent a lot of money. After all the money that I spent they took the document to the legal for him to sign and bring back to me, do you know what the legal said? That we should come back the next day, he didn’t give us the CTC copy again. When we came back the next day, the legal was now trying to make photocopy of a photocopied CTC copy. By this time they have Tipp- exed a photocopy and was now trying to make another photocopy from the photocopied one they have already Tippexed to give to us. If ako Ijaiye literarily they did not give us anything, the EO refused to give us document for almost two months. When I got in touch with the woman who is the EO she said that all the documents are with the REC, when I got to the REC, he said no problem that they have the documents but that the woman that is the EO must be present to sign the document. So, since a month and half we have been trying to get that result.
What role is your party the PDP playing here?
The party in Lagos per se I’ll say right now is having challenges. You heard the story of the chairman of the party being removed, so we are having difficulty taking this problem to the party because right now the party is not really stable. Party members at the moment are on their own.
What efforts have you made to get this case known to INEC nationally?
I have no choice now, if we can’t get anything from INEC Lagos anytime soon, I’m taking the matter to Abuja because we have no choice. The problem we will have with Abuja INEC is that the results sent to them are those from card reader machine. The problem we have in my senatorial district during the presidential and National Assembly election was that over 50 per cent of voters voted manually and did not use the card reader machine. So, majority of the documents are here and not in Abuja. We have letters written to INEC, they will tell us we are going to see to it. There was one time we wrote; they apologised and asked us to come and when we got there they made copies of the result of governorship election for us instead of the senatorial results. My question here is must everybody be a member of the All Progressives Congress? There must be an opposition, somebody must be able to criticise the government. For instance in my own community, as Yayi is representing us, if I join APC who will now tell the people that Yayi is not performing or Lagos State government is not performing. That’s the reason when Yayi goes on TV campaigning, he’ll never mention the deplorable state of the senatorial district he wants to represent. Like Okokomiko, Amuwo, Alimosho, Abaronje, even Oshodi. He’ll not talk about the area boys and girls living there or that the roads are bad. Let me tell you that it is on record that the 10 local governments in this senatorial district there is no public water, may be you have that only in Ikeja. I’m the only one that can go on TV and tell the public that things are not well with our senatorial district. If I join APC I cannot criticise the government. People will tell you why don’t you join APC but my answer is must everybody be in APC? Must everybody serve Tinubu? That’s the point, so I’m frustrated because an election was won, the result is there; it is clear and somebody altered it and wrote something on it and said Yayi won. I said ok no problem, give me my result; it is my entitlement but they refused. Even Yayi was supposed to be in court. We need to serve him, the bailiff went to Yayi’s house they didn’t allow him to even drop the document, he went to his campaign office at Acme Road, the same thing happened. They didn’t allow the bailiff to drop the document. Now the bailiff is trying to go to his office and paste the document like a notice. All these they are doing it to buy time. That was what happened in 2011. I won the 2011 election and the result was not announced till today. I went to court and it was the same process and my case was thrown out of court because of time. Then I went to Appeal Court and Dr Banire, I’m saying it now, filed out of time. INEC didn’t file at all because they have no case because I won the election. I went to INEC and collected all the ballot papers and I brought the ballot papers before the judge. You know what they did? They decided to kill the case by making sure that the 21 days expired. When we now went to appeal, I tabled my case, Banire filled out of time, the judge said that by Wednesday they will give judgement, on the said Wednesday the judge could not give the judgement he said his partner should read the judgement; the case was adjourned indefinitely, since 2011 till now they’ve not called us.
So, what is your next line of action?
I want people at the helm of affairs to call INEC Lagos to order. INEC chairman Attahiru Jega has to call them to order because I need my documents to go to court. You see the reason INEC is doing this is because it cannot come to court which is the new rule, it is only me and APC and I need my results to prove to the judge that I won the election . What I have with me is the summary, I need to have form EC8A, EC8B and EC8C and they refused to release it. I have been trying my best to make the challenges I’m going through, public. I’ve gone to Bond FM in Ikeja GRA here and the GM didn’t allow me to talk. They said I cannot just come on air and talk. I went to LTV, you know what happened there, after speaking a little, it was controlled interview, despite that fact, the Commissioner for Information lambasted the person that brought me. Right now they didn’t allow me to talk on LTV. I was on Channels, the interview was midway and I was cut off. Even when I talk with some people in print media it is never published. These are the issues I’m going through. I think it is a deliberate thing, even you that are here I wish you all the best.
Are you saying INEC is colluding with APC to frustrate you?
That is it. We are calling on both the outgoing President and the incoming President-elect whom we know to be a no-nonsense man, who will not condone corruption, if the change he is preaching, is genuine, it has to start now. We want him, Muhammadu Buhari to look into this and call the same people that is preaching change and the INEC chairman to make sure that this case is looked into. They keep on preaching change and integrity but common result was falsified in their favour, they refused accepting court summon and they are talking about change. So, to me it’s a paradox, there is no change anywhere that is the point, it’s just fraud. Even in Lagos as I’m talking to you now, local government election has been postponed indefinitely since last year September and nobody is talking about it.
In 2011 you didn’t carry your party along while challenging your mandate at the court, you appear to be doing same again this time, do you really think you can do this battle in isolation of your party?
See, at the moment our party here in Lagos is in disarray but even as PDP or APC we are one Nigeria and truly, deep down in our hearts as PDP members we believe in Buhari and we know as the incoming President he will not condone nonsense. So we are putting this to the table of Buhari to look into this and ensure things are done right so that he is not surrounded by people who will soil his name and integrity. This is a broad day robbery. How can they prove this? So, we are taking it to the integrity of the President-elect, we will put it to American Government and British Government for the world to see that even Buhari for what he is claiming to be couldn’t even put his house in order.
What will you say about the process of the last election?
I have seen a lot of people in my party especially complaining about what really happened in the last election but for me personally we didn’t do badly. They reason I’m saying this, although my colleagues here will not agree but I believe that if you are contesting an election and almost all your generals left and you still score about short of three million votes from the person that won the election I don’t think you have done bad. Apart from the generals you have PDP governors that left to APC and won their states for APC. About five of them it was only Amaechi that lost his state. So, what are we talking about, to me we haven’t don’t bad at all. To me we did well, the only problem we had was the implosion inside PDP, so PDP won the election for APC. APC didn’t win us, it was PDP who won the election for them. Even in Lagos after all the rigging the difference in presidential election was less than 160,000 votes. After all the rigging the difference between Ambode and Agbaje was less than 150,000 votes. On my own after they falsified the result the difference is 52,000 votes. This is despite the fact that they have been here for the last 16 years and they brought all the billions of naira. We fought against 67 LCDA administrators, they have House of Representatives members, 28 House of Assembly members, so what are we talking about. So we have not done poorly. They rigged the election, but for peace to reign that was the reason why President Goodluck Jonathan accepted the result. If you remove Kano result, that was the end for APC. How can about three million people register and three million people voted, no voided votes, nobody was sick, travelled or relocated? So, for peace to reign, PDP decided to allow them to have it. While celebrating about six APC members died in the North, now you can imagine what would have happened if they lost the election. That’s why I keep telling my colleagues that you don’t need to go to APC because PDP won the election for the APC. The reason PDP governors who won the election did what they did is South- North dichotomy, the North have got political power the South economic power. Now, the economic and political power has been in the South almost since return to democracy since 1999 and they told Jonathan to step aside for a Northerner to be the president; that was the only reason why PDP imploded. So, we won for APC, they should know they are not popular; 2.5 million votes are not significant. In 2011 we won with about 12.8 million votes.
But people argue 2011 had inflated figures unlike 2015 which had card reader?
Ok accepted there was inflated result in 2011, what about 2015? If Kano alone in 2015 had three million registered voters what was the difference? The 2.5million votes they won with is not significant. I’m saying that contrary to the saying that the people that worked with President Jonathan didn’t try, they tried, though Mu’zu has his own problem, but I’m talking generally. The election was rigged in favour of the APC. On card reader machine, I was on Channels TV saying that the card reader machine was a fraud. At the end of the day what happened? It didn’t work. After they called from Abuja that if the card reader didn’t work that people should vote manually, that is about 2pm of the same day of election. With that alone the election ought to be cancelled but Jonathan allowed it to go on. Meanwhile, in 2011 when about less than five per cent of particular area could not get electoral materials it was postponed till a week but this one, it was allowed to continue because Jonathan felt that any attempt to shift the election again there will be problem. Jega, APC and many people said card reader will work. I voted manually around 4:30.pm. A lot of people who wanted to vote in some areas didn’t even see their names. I had an interview on that same day with AIT and said even if I win this election which I know I did that I wouldn’t even mind having a re-run because the election was free but not fair. I said it on AIT on that same day. I want to talk to my people that nobody should leave to join APC because the PDP is still intact. Look, in 2019 any attempt for us to bring a Northerner as our presidential candidate that’s the end, the block vote in the North will be divided. Let me tell you even the two governors in the North who stayed back in the PDP voted and showed their cards that they voted for APC. The two of them also won their states for APC. When you add those two states plus the other four that will be six, remove just two states from the difference APC won us with you see they didn’t win the election. It was PDP that won the election for them. But because our President is a peace loving President who wants peace to reign, you know he keeps on saying that his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
Do you see Buhari bringing any change?
You see even if they bring an angel to come and rule Nigeria, it’s going to be the same. See, the problem of Nigeria is Nigerians. We are the problem of Nigerians, there is no light, what has the President got to do with that. People want to make money at all cost, we don’t love one another, so it has to start from me and you, you staff, neighbour and that’s why I said that we have to have a reorientation where we can say ok let me love my neighbour. Let’s talk about America, any form of immorality is there in America, they don’t pray they way we pray but one thing about them is that they love each other. That’s why things get better there, things cannot get better in Nigeria until when we start loving ourselves.