By Dipo Olowookere
The main opposition political party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the 2019 presidential election, Mr Atiku Abubakar, have been asked to apologize to Nigerians for “willfully distracting” the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the February poll.
Mr Buhari was announced as the duly elected President of the country at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday in Abuja in an 8-hour judgement read by head of the five-man panel, Justice Mohammed Garba.
In a statement issued on Thursday in Russia by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, through his media aide, Mr Segun Adeyemi, the PDP and Mr Abubakar were advised to beg Nigerians for their “frivolous election petition.” They were further told to do this “instead of appealing the ruling of Wednesday’s Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.”
The Minister said while the PDP and its candidate reserve the right to pursue their petition to the highest level, they will be better served by “dropping their toga of desperation and realizing that there is a limit to tomfoolery.”
“Nigerians are tired of this orchestrated distraction, and will rather wish that the opposition, having lost at the polls and in court, will now join hands with the government to move Nigeria to the next level.
“This is more so that the judgement validating the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari was unanimous that the petition lacked merit, that the petitioners failed to prove any of the grounds upon
which their case was anchored and that President Buhari is eminently qualified to contest the poll,” the Minister was quoted as saying in the statement.
Mr Mohammed said instead of casting aspersion on the judiciary with their “poorly-framed reaction to the ruling of the tribunal, the PDP and its candidate should be thanking their stars that they are not
being prosecuted for coming to court with a fraudulently-obtained evidence.”
He added that, “It is intriguing that a party that trumpets the rule of law at every turn will present, in open court, evidence it claimed to have obtained by hacking into a supposed INEC server.
“Don’t they realize this is a criminal act for which they are liable? Instead of threatening to head to the Supreme Court, driven more by ego than commonsense, they should be sorry for allowing desperation to overwhelm their sense of reasoning. Enough is enough.”
The Minister commended the tribunal for not only doing justice to the case but for explaining, in painstaking details that lasted hours, how it arrived at its judgement.
“We also thank Nigerians, who voted massively to re-elect President Buhari, for their continued support,” the statement said.
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