The National Coalition for Change (NCC) has asked Nigerians to hold Alhaji Atiku Abubakar responsible for any upsurge in terrorism, banditry, ethno-religious crisis and other vices that may accompany his dismissed petition at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The Justice Mohammed Garba-led Tribunal, had on Wednesday, ruled that President Muhammadu Buhari was duly elected, brushing aside the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appeal.
In a statement signed by Secretary-General, Jeremiah Giwa, in reaction to the judgement, the NCC says it is victory for democracy and a testament that the Judiciary can’t be bamboozled by cheap blackmails.
While admitting that it is within the constitutional right of the opposition candidate to seek redress at the Supreme Court, the group warned against embarking on a path that may potentially threaten the peace of the land.
The coalition reckoned that the country enjoyed improved peace, harmony and tranquillity prior to the Tribunal’s verdict and therefore Atiku would be held culpable for any sudden shift.
However, the NCC urged President Buhari to see the verdict as the watershed to usher the final phase of his amiable reforms.
Read full statement below:
The National Coalition for Change (NCC) is pleased with the ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the petition the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, challenging the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Not only is the Tribunal’s verdict a victory for democracy, it has gone the extra mile to prove that propaganda, even when deployed by corrupt moneybags, is no match for the will of the people and the rule of law. The Tribunal has expressed the will of Nigerians.
The Tribunal has set Nigeria on the path of peace and restoration by failing to legitimize the culture of lies, violence and manipulation upon which the Atiku/PDP challenge was based; they had even vehemently attempted to blackmail the courts into doing their bidding in order to coerce from the Tribunal the victory they could not intimidate the Nigerian electorates to give them at the polls.
NCC commends the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal for not succumbing to Atiku’s blackmail, particularly in the petitions he filed on the use of card readers and the phantom server that the PDP supposedly found in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The fraudulent claims in these petitions were intended to make mockery of the bench by through the expectation that judges are not technologically enlightened enough to know when they are being lied to.
The judges on the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal are true heroes of democracy and NCC will so recognize and honour them at the appropriate time. They have proven that there can still be found within Nigeria upright men that cannot be swayed by ethno-religious sentiments and bribes.
We urge President Buhari to see the verdict of the Tribunal as the final impetus for him to roll out the final phase of his reforms for Nigeria now that the obstacle of the PDP/Atiku judicial challenge has been removed from his path. He must particularly ramp up the war on corruption without fear of a backlash because no one can at this point claim to be hounded because he or she is a member of the opposition. The anti-terrorism war must also extend to those that had hidden under the cover of opposition to finance terrorists.
Without prejudice to Atiku and PDP’s rights to seek a review of the ruling at the Supreme Court, we advise them to pursue their rights in a manner that does not threaten the peace. Even the mentally incapacitated knows that it is time for Atiku to stop implementing his Dubai Strategy that has failed from one phase to the other.
Prior to the Tribunal’s verdict, the impressive reduction in the intensity of crimes before and after the election is well documented; we shall therefore hold Atiku and the PDP responsible for any upsurge in terrorist attacks, banditry, kidnapping, ethno-religious strife and other spikes in crime in the aftermath of the ruling.
We congratulate Nigerians on being saved from the desperadoes that had attempted to exploit the judiciary as a tool to overthrow the government they had overwhelmingly entrusted with the mandate to administer the country.