Nigerians to Buhari: it’s time to deliver on promises
Eminent Nigerians on Wednesday urged former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to accept the Supreme Court verdict in good fate.
It was as Atiku said his spirit was not broken by the verdict. He rather sees the judgment as part of democratic challenges to be faced.
“Whether justice was done, it is left to the Nigerian people to decide,” he said.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan urged Atiku and the PDP to accept the verdict.
He congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the “indelible judicial seal the Supreme Court has put on their victory in the presidential election of February 23 this year.”
He added: “Now that the litigation is over, we should all rally as one people behind the President in his commitment to building the great nation of our dream.
“The petitioners should gracefully accept the final verdict of our court of law while the winners should demonstrate magnanimity by extending the hand of fellowship to the opposition with a view to carrying all Nigerians along in the arduous task of nation-building.”
Gbajabiamila: It’s victory for democracy
House of the Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila described the verdict as a victory for democracy.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said although Buhari’s victory was never in doubt, there was the need to appreciate the appeal outcome.
The Speaker said: “I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the President on his final electoral victory. It is my conviction that this would allow the President to concentrate on his determination to champion good governance for the generality of Nigerians, the reason why he was voted for in the first place.
“I also congratulate our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the victory. This goes to show that the party has come of age in party politics and in putting forward the best hands that can and will take Nigeria to greater heights through the fulfillment of our Manifestos and support for government policies.
“I want to urge, Mr Atiku Abubakar, who has put to test our justice delivery system by contesting the election result from the lowest to the highest court, and the PDP to accept the judgment in good faith and in the spirit of sportsmanship and help the government in building a strong, prosperous and united Nigeria.”
Okorocha to Atiku: accept verdict in good fate
Former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, who represents Imo West in the Senate, urged Atiku to accept the judgment in good fate and “join hands with his brother to move the country forward”.
Okorocha, in a statement by his Special Adviser in Media, Sam Onwuemeodo, said statistics proved that Buhari won the presidential election.
He, however, praised Atiku for challenging the outcome to a logical conclusion, adding that his action will help to strengthen democracy.
“What Atiku did was also good for our democracy. It helps to strengthen our democracy but I urge that he now joins hands with his brother, the President to move the nation forward.”
Oyetola greets Buhari
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola congratulated President Buhari, saying the victory was a sweet one.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, the governor said the Supreme Court’s decision had put paid and end to the legal battle over the 2019 presidential election.
The governor further noted that lovers of democracy must commend the resilience of the judiciary in deepening the country’s democracy through its sound judgments.
“On behalf of the people and government of the State of Osun, I congratulate our president, Muhammadu Buhari, on his victory at the Supreme Court.
“With this judgement, it is my hope that the verdict has put to an end the needless bickering, distractions and provocation that greeted the 2019 presidential election.
“I congratulate the leadership and all members of our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), on this victory,” Oyetola said.
Wase greets Buhari
House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase congratulated President Buhari, describing it as victory for Nigerians.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Puma, the Deputy Speaker said the Supreme Court judgement shows President Buhari was truly chosen by Nigerians to lead them.
Wase said: “It is indeed a victory for not only the president but for Nigerians home and abroad in the hope of our nation’s continued growth and development.
“I wish to also commend Atiku Abubakar for shunning violence and choosing to seek redress through the right means. If anything, it shows that the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man.
“I also urge the former Vice-President to eschew any form of partisanship and work with the current administration in its desire to deliver the dividends of democracy to every Nigerian through positive reforms in all the sectors of the economy.”
Northern governors pledge loyalty
The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) hailed the verdict.
Its chairman Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong said the affirmation of Buhari’s mandate clears the path for the President to settle down and deliver on the promised “next level” without distractions.
The Forum assured the President of its unflinching support and loyalty as he continues to serve the nation with integrity, dedication and uncommon patriotism.
Lalong, in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Simon Macham, added the judgement was an affirmation of the people’s mandate.
He said that the President had massive support during the election.
He assured the President of the unflinching support and loyalty of the people of Plateau.
Sagay: Atiku shouldn’t have appealed
Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) chairman Prof Itse Sagay (SAN) blamed lawyers for encouraging the PDP and Atiku to proceed with their appeal.
To him, it was obvious that the PDP and Atiku’s grounds of appeal did not stand a legal chance of overturning the election result.
He said he was disappointed that the lawyers advised Atiku to proceed with the appeal.
According to him, it was the end of the road for Atiku and the PDP.
Sagay said: “The Supreme Court is the final court. There is nowhere else to go, except, of course under some exceptional circumstances. From the beginning it was a hopeless case. I’m disappointed that Atiku’s lawyers failed to advise him.”
The PACAC Chairman was of the view that the issues Atiku and the PDP raised in their grounds of appeal could not be sustained in law.
Sagay said: “They talked of a server in a situation where the law talked about manual transmission. If INEC had gone ahead to use the server, the election would have been null and void.”
He noted that Atiku’s lawyers raised dust about the President’s educational qualifications, even when it was obvious that he was qualified to seek reelection.
According to him, the lawyers kept egging their client on, even though they knew it was nearly impossible “to prove that there was fraud” or that the election process did not substantially comply with the law.
The eminent professor of law noted that there were 120,000 polling booths and to prove electoral malpractice in each or a sizeable number of the booths would require thousands of witnesses, something the PDP and Atiku failed to provide.
“Why the lawyers encouraged him is baffling to me,” Sagay added.
Louis Alozie (SAN) advised Atiku to accept the verdict. He said: “The Supreme Court is final. What else can he do except to complain to God.”
A lawyer Dr Fassy Yusuf also advised Atiku to accept the verdict and move on.
He said: “The Supreme Court is the last bus stop and final arbiter. Any judgment given cannot be appealed. The option left for him is to accept the verdict of the court and move forward. The election has been fought and won. He should accept the decision of the Supreme Court with equanimity and move ahead.”
UPP chairman not surprised
The United Progressive Party (UPP) National Chairman Chief Chekwas Okorie said he was not surprised by the verdict.
He said: “When the Court of Appeal gave a lengthy and detailed judgment, I knew that the work of the Supreme Court has been made easy.
“So, I was not expecting the Supreme Court to start repeating all the details that has been given, so long as it concurs with that judgment. What the Supreme Court did today was to concur with the lower courts and to say that details will come later.
“This will save everybody an unnecessary anxiety. In any case, on the basis of sheer logic, we had three elections held simultaneously in one day: that of the House of Representatives, the Senate and that of the President.
“During the said election, the APC defeated the PDP by over 100 seats in the House of Representatives and with more than 25 seats at the Senate. So, contemplating an Atiku victory at the presidential election would have been against the run of play. This is because the way Nigerians voted reflected in the other two elections.
“I don’t know why the PDP were hopeful of overturning the Court of Appeal verdict. In fact, I said it at the outset that the party’s decision to go to the tribunal was a distraction and that is exactly what it has turned out to be. At least, the President can now face governance.
“But we must go to a situation where our elections can be far more credible than we have had since 1999, so that litigations would be reduced, if not eliminated. It is electronic voting system that every well-meaning Nigerian is talking about that can bring that about. So, we don’t keep relying on the courts to determine the outcome of elections.”
BMO hails Supreme Court
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) described Supreme Court’s speedy judgment as a reflection of the beauty of democracy and the supremacy of the law.
In a statement by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju in Abuja, BMO urged Atiku to place a call to the President in submission to the will of the people.
“What may have come as a surprise to many is the speed with which the panel dispensed with the matter.
“Indeed it is unprecedented, but it is also a confirmation that the election challenge is as frivolous as the chairman of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Justice Mohammed Garba painted it when he dismissed the case,” it said.
Minority caucus: opposition will remain strong
The House of Representatives Minority Caucus said the judgment would not deter the opposition in its constitutional role of ensuring checks and balances in the system.
House Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu, in a statement, said the judgment was surprising to many Nigerians.
He, however, assured that the development will not detract from the commitment and determination of the opposition in the House of Representatives to always protect the interest of Nigerians by ensuring accountability, equity, fairness and strict adherence to the rule of law in all aspects of governance.
He also commended Nigerians for standing with the PDP throughout the litigation process and assured that all hope is not lost, as the opposition will continue to insist on due process as well as propagate alternatives on programmes and policies in the general interest of the citizens.
Ambode: it’s well-deserved
Former Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode congratulated President Buhari on his victory.
In a statement by his media aide, Habib Aruna, he said: “I join millions of Nigerians, the leadership of our great party and all members of our party across the nation to congratulate President Buhari on this well-deserved victory at the Supreme Court.
“This victory is a validation of the confidence in the President’s resounding re-election and a testament to the fact that the people are happy with the progress made by his administration and are keen to see four more years of progressive governance.
“The court verdict will surely propel the President to consolidate on his first term achievements in all the sectors for the betterment of the country.”
Ambode urged all supporters of the party and Nigerians in general to rally round President Buhari in his quest to return Nigeria to the path of greatness and respectability.
Galadima to Buhari: be pro-Nigerians
Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation spokesman Alhaji Buba Galadima urged President Buhari to ensure that ordinary Nigerians benefit from the Supreme Court judgment.
He said the judgment did not receive the support of majority of Nigerians, noting if it was the other way round, the country would have erupted in wild jubilation.
He added that the PDP was only concerned about making the country better.