Reacting to the verdict the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that upheld President Mohammadu Buhari’s victory, the Peoples Democratic Party had cried foul, describing it as a travesty of justice.
NewsTrack also reported that PDP in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP stressed that it was unreasonable “that a court of law could validate a clear case of perjury and declaration of false information in a sworn affidavit, as firmly established against President Muhammadu Buhari, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence.”
Since this judgement, the former Vice President remained silent while the party kept on speaking .
Today, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the February 23, 2019, presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has finally spoken to Nigerians weeks after the Presidential election Tribunal quashed his claims and evidences against President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Recall that Atiku had accused Buhari and APC of rigging the election, commended Nigerians for their unflinching support, noting that nothing good comes easy in Nigeria.
On the reason it took him so long to speak, when NewsTrack spoke to a Political Scientist and Media Practitioner, Mr. Uche Ogbonnaya , he said that a number of factors may have occasioned the silence.
He said: “the former President of People’s Democratic Party should not be blamed for keeping mum for such a long time. “You cannot rule out the fact that he may have been encouraged and convinced by his party to pursue the case to a logical conclusion. It is a question of continue the fight, remain relevant and get sympathy from Nigerians. Who knows, the party may decide to field him again in 2023.
“it is also possible he may have decided not to speak in anger so as not to expose himself to avoidable criticism and ridicule; then to have all the time to under study the case and probably make the necessary consultations to know his chances and the right steps to take”.
Analyzing Atiku’s statement, he said it is emotional and sentiment laden to woo Nigerians, presenting himself as the symbol of democracy.
Mr. Ogbonnaya recalled that Atiku has a history of using the Judiciary to pursue such political goals, which played out during his altercation with the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. “Litigation is not a misnomer in liberal democracy”, he stated.
Meanwhile, he noted that challenging the judgment is Atiku’s right. He is of the opinion that it will have a positive consequence on Nigeria’s democracy while creating room for review areas of weaknesses in Nigeria’s extant laws. He also reminded that Buhari did the same in his past elections where he also failed.
In his statement, Atiku had admonished Nigerians to be strong, stating that he would appeal the case at the Supreme court. He however sought the support of Nigerians, presenting himself as a symbol of democracy and good governance, while portraying Buhari led government as fascist, an aspect he described as normal politicking.
Atiku also noted that the country must return to being Africa’s bastion of democracy, where the rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom after the Speech, are guaranteed.
Below is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s statement;
Dearly beloved citizens of Nigeria,
I write to personally thank you for your support for our shared common goal and the solidarity I enjoyed from all walks of life and every strata of society, right from July 21, 2018, when I informed you, the good people of Nigeria, that I would contest the 2019 Presidential election, to Wednesday, September 11, 2019, when the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal rendered its verdict.
Nothing good comes easy, and hard as the task to rid Nigeria from the forces of fascism, and be an instrument for the full restoration of the rule of law and democracy in Nigeria is, your support makes the struggle worthwhile.
I owe so much to this great land of Nigeria that took me from the streets of Jada, where I sold firewood, to the heights I have attained, by God’s benevolence, in the civil service, in corporate Nigeria, and in public service.
If I do not play my part in making it possible for other orphaned children, indigent youths and the less privileged, to replicate and even surpass my path to significance, I would have failed my Maker.If I do not ensure that the ladder I climbed remains accessible to those at the bottom, middle and top tiers of society, I would not have fulfilled my purpose.
And only by ensuring that democracy is not just done, but seen to be done, can Nigeria and Nigerians have a sense that this our dear land is indeed a land where Unity, Faith, Peace and Progress reside.
It is for this, and other patriotic reasons, that I am pursuing this judicial route: To ensure that the votes of Nigerians count and are counted. Y
es, those who do not want this as Nigeria’s reality, will use every trick in the book to undermine, discourage, misinform and mislead, but with God’s help and the support of Nigerians, we will ensure that Nigeria makes a course correction away from tyranny and towards democracy.
Speaks on Freedom
We must return to being Africa’s bastion of democracy, where the rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom after the Speech, are guaranteed. We must stand together to pursue this just cause all the way so that our judiciary is not afraid to do their jobs and have to be wary of blackmail, intimidation, and victimisation.
I note the immense outpouring of goodwill from ordinary Nigerians in every nook and cranny of Nigeria and from all regions, religions and relationships. Once again I thank you all for your support. I also thank the governors elected on the platform of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party, as well as the National Executive Committee, for their unanimous and unambiguous support for the judicial phase of this struggle, especially after it was announced that we would go on to appeal.
Charges Nigerians to contribute
I urge all Nigerians to continue their support for this recourse to constitutional order via the courts. Even if there is little or nothing you can do to ensure that justice is done in Nigeria, just believe that it will happen. Let us never underestimate the effect of our belief in Nigeria.
Finally, I say to all concerned, that we will all die and give an account of our lives to our Creator.
Thank you and may God bless Nigeria.