- Atiku’s greed caused PDP’s defeat- VON DG
The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, has said the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court fell below his expectations.
Atiku, while briefing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, said the verdict was “bereft of substantial justice”.
He said, “Gentlemen of the press, I take great pains to tell you that the decision of the court of first instance on this matter utterly falls far short of that expectation. I am therefore here to tell you that though the judgement of the court yesterday is respected, it is a judgement that I refuse to accept.
“I refuse to accept the judgment because I believe that it is bereft of substantial justice. However, the disappointment in the verdict of the court can never destroy my confidence in the judiciary.”
The former vice-president said his decision to seek justice in court “is grounded in my belief that the courts are the guardians of justice.”
Abubakar highlighted his history of legal battles and his faith in the judiciary, emphasizing his commitment to continue the fight.
He expressed deep concerns about the management of the last presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission and the impact it had on transparent elections conducted through technological means.
“The recent presidential election and INEC’s handling of it set a worrying precedent that I believe the court must rectify.
“The judgment rendered by the presidential election petition tribunal yesterday, unfortunately, does not restore confidence in our aspiration for elections free from human manipulation. My primary objective in challenging the election outcome is to bolster democracy through the principles of fair hearings and justice.
“I want to make it clear that I respect the court’s judgment, but I cannot accept it because I believe it lacks substantial justice. However, my disappointment with the verdict will not erode my confidence in the judiciary.
“Consequently, I have instructed my legal team to exercise my constitutionally guaranteed right of appeal to the higher court, which in this instance is the Supreme Court of Nigeria. It is my conviction that Nigeria’s electoral process should be free from irregularities, ensuring that election outcomes reflect the true will of the voters,” he said.
Reflecting on his steadfast dedication to fair elections, Atiku said: “Whether I succeed in this endeavour or not, my efforts to establish a credible electoral order in Nigeria will be a legacy for future generations.”
He also urged his supporters to remain composed and resolute, drawing inspiration from the teachings of his late mentor, Shehu Yaradua, who he quoted as saying, “Losing a battle is less significant than losing a war.”
“We may have lost a battle yesterday, but the struggle to restore trust in our electoral system lies ahead, and with faith in God and ourselves, we will ultimately triumph,” he added.
In the 2023 presidential election, Atiku secured about 7 million votes, representing 29.07 percent of the total votes cast.
Bola Tinubu emerged as the winner with 8.8 million votes, constituting 36.61 percent of the total votes, while Peter Obi secured the third position with 6.1 million votes, accounting for 25.40 percent of the total votes cast.
Atiku’s greed caused PDP’s defeat- VON DG
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria and a founding member of the All Progressives Congress, Osita Okechukwu, has attributed the defeat of the PDP at the Presidential Election Petition Court to Atiku Abubakar’s greed, the party’s presidential candidate.
He said this during an interview with journalists at Abuja on Thursday.
Despite having a strong possibility of winning the 2023 presidential election, he said Atiku had political ambitions that made it unlikely for the party to prevail.
The VON DG said that Atiku’s unwillingness to endorse his old running mate, Peter Obi or any other Southern presidential candidate caused a rift among the opposition party.
“Those intricate webs could have been resolved if Atiku had obeyed the zoning convention, supported Peter Obi or any other Southern presidential candidate; it could been simply an all-southern bout.
“The Wike Masquerade couldn’t have emerged. That would have meant that the bulk of votes he garnered could have been credited to PDP.
“Atiku divided PDP’s votes irreparably, all the votes Labour Party garnered were from the party’s stronghold, minus votes warehoused by the former Vice President who naively forgot that northern voters are one of the most sophisticated in the country, but believed that northern electorate would behave like children in a dormitory waiting for directives on how to vote.
“So, it is obvious that when Atiku sacrificed statesmanship on the altar of narrow political ambition, one concluded that he had wittingly or unwittingly fatally wounded the fabric of PDP. And, going by the time worn cliché, a divided house cannot stand; Nigerians should recognise that Atiku by his greed denied PDP a possible victory,” Okechukwu said.