Opposition rejects Tinubu endorsement as president


Nigerian president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – PARTIES aggrieved by a tribunal’s endorsement of Bola Tinubu of Nigeria have been advised to approach the Supreme Court and desist from violence.

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) validated the former Lagos governor as head of state and ruled against petitions by the opposition, which alleged vote rigging by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Polls were held in February and Tinubu was inaugurated at the end of May.

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), the umbrella association of all registered political parties and political associations in the country, has called for calm and urged aggrieved parties to further approach the Supreme Court.

It is the next legal option available in Africa’s largest economy and most populous country (220 million people).

James Ezema, CNPP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, urged politicians to discourage their followers from engaging in any act that is capable of causing breach of public peace.

“The best option for all citizens remains the judiciary no matter how much faith we may have lost in the justice system in Nigeria,” he said.

“The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has in her wisdom delivered its judgment. It’s left for the petitioners to review the verdict and further explore other legal options if aggrieved in any way.”

CNPP has urged politicians in the country to persuade their followers to remain calm and law abiding while such legal options are explored.

“No matter how we perceive the legal system in the country, the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man,” Ezema said.

“Any attempt to resort to self-help will spell doom for the country as it would make anarchy a norm, which is capable of bringing down the roof on all.”

The main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), rejected the tribunal’s verdict.

“As a party, we have had an initial review of the judgment as delivered by the PEPC and we unequivocally reject the said judgement in its entirety,” said Debo Ologunagba, PDP National Publicity Secretary.

He said the PDP, the former ruling party, will with its lawyers review the PEPT judgement and “decide on the next line of action within the ambit of the law.”

“The PDP calls on Nigerians to remain alert, calm and united as our Party continues to lead the charge to defend democracy and ensure that the will of the people as expressed in the February 25, 2023 presidential election is respected and restored,” Ologunagba said.

PDP had fielded former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as its candidate in the divisive presidential elections.

INEC declared Tinubu as winner with over 36 percent, to Abubakar’s 29 percent and LP candidate Peter Obi’s 25 percent.

Tinubu welcomed the PEPT verdict.

“President Tinubu welcomes the judgment of the tribunal with an intense sense of solemn responsibility and preparedness to serve all Nigerians, irrespective of all diverse political persuasions, faiths and tribal identities,” said Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President: Media and Publicity.

– CAJ News

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