Trump early Wednesday declared victory in the presidential race Democratic nominee Joe Biden even as votes were still being counted and said he would be going to the Supreme Court in an attempt to stop ballot counting.
Trump pledged to take the matter to court to stop the counting of votes, an assertion that immediately drew strong criticism from media observers and seemed sure to further tear at an already badly divided nation.
Trump asserted that he had won states like Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan despite there still being tens of thousands of ballots still outstanding.
No media outlet has called a winner in those states, no election officials have declared a winner and Democratic nominee Joe Biden may still overtake Trump on the strength of mail ballots that are still being counted in states like Michigan and Wisconsin.
“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said in remarks from the East Room of the White House.
“This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four o’clock in the morning and add them to the list. It’s a very sad moment,” Trump continued.
Vice President Mike Pence , speaking shortly after Trump, described them as “on the road to victory,” a notable shift from the president’s own remarks.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, a Republican ally of Trump’s, said he was “very distressed” by what Trump had said.
“The president is prone as we all know to bluster and fits of pique, being upset about how he’s treated,” Santorum said.
Santorum said it was fine to say he believed he had won, as Biden did earlier, but “the idea of saying, using the word ‘fraud'” when people were counting votes was wrong. Santorum said it was not wrong for precincts in Pennsylvania to stop counting votes for the night to resume doing so later on Wednesday.
Trump is projected to win Ohio, Florida, and Texas, as well as a number of other reliably red states in the south, leaving his campaign cautiously optimistic.
A number of key battlegrounds where Trump has a lead remain undecided, including Georgia and North Carolina, and the outcome of the election appears to be coming down to the so-called “blue wall” states that Trump turned red in 2016 – Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Trump is currently leading the vote counts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, but there are still tens of thousands of votes yet to be counted. Many of those are mail ballots, which are expected to break sharply for Biden.
Trump also took a veiled shot at Fox News during his remarks for calling the state of Arizona for Biden, something other networks have not done. Trump won Arizona’s 11 electoral votes in 2016, and losing the state would represent a significant setback.
At the time of Trump’s remarks, Biden had a lead over Trump in the electoral college. Biden delivered remarks earlier in the evening in which he expressed optimism about his path to victory.
“We feel good about where we are. We really do,” Biden said in brief remarks. “I am here to tell you tonight we believe we are on track to win this election.”
The former vice president urged voters to be “patient” and wait until the final results are tallied. It may take until later Wednesday or longer to call the race in Michigan and Pennsylvania, for instance, the latter of which has an extension on the receipt of mail ballots sent by Election Day.
“We’re going to have to be patient until the hard work tallying the votes is finished,” Biden said in Delaware.
Biden said he felt good about Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and noted that outlets had called Minnesota in his favor, despite Trump’s hopes to flip it.
Trump has railed against a Supreme Court decision allowing the extension to receive mail ballots in Pennsylvania, claiming baselessly that it would result in cheating and incite violence. Trump has repeatedly said that ballots received after Election Day should not be counted.
“We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” Trump tweeted shortly after Biden’s remarks. His tweet was later labeled by Twitter as containing misleading content.
Insecurity: Reps Ask Buhari To Declare State Of Emergency
WORRIED by the worsening security situation in the country, the House of Representatives on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare a state of emergency on insecurity to effectively curb the ugly development.
The Speaker, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, disclosed this while reading the resolutions approved after a fourhour executive session held on the floor of the Green Chamber, during which lawmakers condemned attacks on security agents and formations across the country.
To this end, the House resolved to invite the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Mongunu; the service chiefs and other heads of various paramilitary agencies to appear before it and brief the members on the security situation in the country.
The House also mandated all its security committees to immediately commence comprehensive audit of all military and paramilitary assets and arms in the Armed Services and revert back to the House within four weeks.
Gbajabiamila, who read the resolution, said: “The House reiterates its commitment to the security and corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and would, therefore, accelerate its engagement with stakeholders on a special security summit to be organised by the House of Representatives.
“The House should urgently invite the NSA, service chiefs, and paramilitary chiefs, Controller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT to brief the House on the security situation in the country.
“Considering the security situation, the President should immediately declare a state of emergency on insecurity so as to fast track all measures to ensure the restoration of peace in the country.
“Call on the judiciary to accelerate the prosecution of those awaiting trial due to banditry, terrorism and other criminal activities.
“Provide emergency relief to all communities that have been adversely affected by recent attacks across the country.
“The President should as a matter of urgency, ensure financial autonomy to Local Government Councils to guarantee their functionality to serve the local populace.
“The Federal Government should ensure the protection of National Infrastructure assets, particularly the Shiroro and Kainji Dams in Niger State.
“The House mandated all its Security Committees to immediately commence comprehensive audit of all military and paramilitary assets and arms in our Armed Services and revert back to the House within four weeks.
“That the number of personnel in the Police and Military falls far short of the required number to effectively secure the country and calls for immediate recruitment to this effect,” the resolution read.
Buhari Is Helping Fulanis Take Over, There Is No Govt in Nigeria – Governor Ortom
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of working for Fulanis. He said the country has no government following incessant killings by bandits and Fulani herdsmen in his state.
He lamented that over 70 people have been murdered in two weeks in Makurdi Local Government Area. Ortom spoke to protesters on Tuesday at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Abagena village. Suspected herdsmen, Monday night, killed citizens and wounded many others. “What is happening now, to me, is very clear; Mr President is just working for these Fulanis to take over the whole country.”
He said Buhari’s body language is what is being played out and that the action and inaction of Mr President “shows that he is only the President of Fulani people”. Ortom decried that attackers regularly send indigenes away from their homes, yet go to kill them where they take refuge.
Ortom called them “Fulani herdsmen”, stressing that “They are not bandits. They are Fulanis. We saw and heard them speak the language.” The Benue helmsman stated that the federal authorities have been dragging foot on the matter.
“If the federal government had taken a proactive step, we will not be where we are. In the last two weeks, over 70 persons have been killed just in Makurdi Local Government Area alone.”
Noting that the situation is not acceptable, Ortom said similar killings were going on in Guma and Gwer-West. Ortom recalled he alerted Nigerians when Fulanis from 14 countries met in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
He said they declared that except the prohibition of open grazing law was reviewed, “Benue will not know peace.” The governor wondered why the federal government was yet to arrest the leaders of Miyetti Allah that hosted the meeting. “It means we don’t have a government”, he declared.
“Mr President must do the needful and I want to suggest that immediately, let there be a security summit. I am aware that the situation is prevalent in other parts of the country.”
On Monday, the police command in Benue State also confirmed the kidnap of three students of the Federal University of Agriculture in Makurdi.
Freeze Pantami’s Accounts – Rinu Oduala Urges CBN
An #EndSARS campaigner, Rinu Oduala, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to freeze the bank accounts of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over his past controversial comments supporting the activities of terrorist groups including Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Pantami had since renounced his radical pro-terrorists comments, saying he now knows better but Nigerians have been unsparing and relentless in the call for the resignation or sacking of the minister.
Oduala, who tweeted via @SavvyRinu on Thursday, urged the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to freeze Pantami’s accounts just as the apex bank swiftly froze the accounts of at least 20 #EndSARS promoters last year over terrorism-related allegations.
“Godwin Emefiele, when are you going to freeze the bank accounts of Isa Pantami?”
The PUNCH had reported that the apex bank through an ex parte order froze the accounts of Oduala and 19 other persons who played a role in the October 2020 #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings.
The CBN had said the accounts were frozen because of the nature of the investigation which was terrorism-related but after about three months, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the apex bank to unfreeze the accounts of the 20 #EndSARS protesters.
Oduala, a leading voice during the #EndSARS protests last year, had pulled out of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing alleged killing of protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate. She had faulted the decision of the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel to reopen the toll gate when justice hasn’t been served to the victims of the October 20, 2020 Lekki shootings.