3:31 am - Wednesday September 18, 2019

DEVELOPING NEWS: MUHAMMADU BUHARI declared winner of Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election, Opposition rejects result…heads to Court with evidence National Electoral Commission: APC 15,191,847 PDP: votes 11,255,978 BY NURUDEEN ALIYU/POLITICAL EDITOR


DEVELOPING NEWS:

MUHAMMADU BUHARI declared winner of Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election, Opposition rejects result…heads to Court with evidence

National Electoral Commission: APC 15,191,847 PDP: votes 11,255,978

BY NURUDEEN ALIYU/POLITICAL EDITOR

ABUJA-NIGERIA’S President, MUHAMMADU BUHARI has been declared the winner of the just concluded presidential election in Nigeria which held on Saturday 23rd February by the nation’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), having scored a total of 15,191,847 representing the All Progressives Congress (APC). Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former Vice president, the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored a total of 11,255,978 has assured Nigerians that he will not concede defeat to the incumbent leader but proceed to Court with all evidence to prove his legitimacy.

After few days of rolling out the votes by INEC, Buhari was at the INEC Headquarters in Abuja to receive his Certificate of Return in company of Professor Yemi Oshinbajo, Vice president. As he accepted his official certificate of election at the INEC in the capital, Abuja, he said the election was “another milestone in Nigeria’s democratic development. From the comment of several observers, both local and foreign, it is obvious that the elections were both free and fair,” he said. Earlier, he had urged his supporters not to “gloat or humiliate” the opposition following his victory. “No section or group will feel left behind or left out,” he promised.

Buhari said: “Now that the elections are over, and a winner declared, we must all see it as a victory for Nigeria, our dear country. That was why I encouraged my teeming supporters, in a speech I read earlier today, not to gloat. Our God-given victory is enough cause for joy, without deriding those who were in the opposition. All Nigerians, going forward, must stand in brotherhood, for a bright and fulfilling future.

“I therefore want to assure that we will continue to engage all parties that have the best interest of Nigerians at heart. Our Government will remain inclusive and our doors will remain open. That is the way to build the country of our dream; safe, secure, prosperous, and free of impunity and primitive accumulation by those entrusted with public offices. The hard work to deliver a better Nigeria continues, building on the foundations of peace, rule of law and opportunities for all. We will roll up our sleeves afresh, and give it our all. We have no other motive than to serve Nigeria with our hearts and might, and build a nation which we and generations to come can be proud of.

“I am very grateful to the over 15 million citizens who voted for me, those who contributed in many ways in the running of our successful campaign, and those at home and abroad who expressed confidence in me and the APC Government. I thank you all. I can assure that you will see a country moving to the Next Level, as we consolidate on our fundamental areas of securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption. Many other focal areas, as stated in our campaign manual, will be added, to the good things we plan for our country. Let me pay tribute here to those who lost their lives either through accidents or mindless violence during the course of these elections. My heart and thoughts are with the families of the victims. May God comfort and give them the fortitude to bear the loss. Election is not war, and should never be seen as a do or die affair. I pray that we all accept this democratic approach to elections, however contentious.”

Buhari promised to use his second term in taking Nigerians to the next level of governance. He also condoled with the families of those who lost their lives as a result of violence incidences in parts of the country during the elections. He assured Nigerians that his administration would ensure an all-inclusive government, adding that he would ensue that Nigeria moves to the next level.

Atiku criticised what he called a “sham election” and has vowed to go to court. Buhari, who was re-elected in Saturday’s poll, insisted that it had been free and fair. Delays and violence marred the run-up to the election but no independent observer has cited electoral fraud. In the 1980s, Mr Buhari, 76, was one of several military rulers in Nigeria and this election marks the 20th anniversary of the return to civilian rule. Mr Buhari got 15.2 million votes while Mr Abubakar received 11.3 million.

Turnout was a record low at just 35.6% and Mr Abubakar, 72, said this was the result of a deliberate policy to prevent his supporters from voting. He said that troops had been deployed to strongholds of his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to stop people casting their ballots. Mr Abubakar said there had been “premeditated malpractices” in many states and wondered how states “ravaged” by the Islamist insurgency – in Mr Buhari’s strongholds in the north – generated higher voter turnouts than more peaceful states.

In his official reaction, Atiku explained that Democracy will not be emasculated in Nigeria. “With regards to the Presidential elections that took place on February 23, 2019, it is clear that there were manifest and premeditated malpractices in many states which negate the results announced.

One obvious red flag is the statistical impossibility of states ravaged by the war on terror generating much higher voter turnouts than peaceful states. The suppressed votes in my strongholds are so apparent and amateurish, that I am ashamed as a Nigerian that such could be allowed to happen. How can total votes in Akwa-Ibom, for instance, be 50% less than what they were in 2015?

Another glaring anomaly is the disruption of voting in strongholds of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers and diverse other states, with the authorities doing little or nothing and in some cases facilitating these unfortunate situations,” he said.

Atiku said: The militarization of the electoral process is a disservice to our democracy and a throwback to the jackboot era of military dictatorship. In some areas of the country, such as, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Imo states, troops deployed for the elections turned their guns on the very citizens they were meant to protect. This is condemnable and should not be associated with our electoral process in the future. I am a democrat and there are democratic avenues available to present the truth to the nation and the watching world. Already, many international observers have given their verdicts, which corroborate our observations. I am sure more will come in the coming hours and days. If I had lost in a free and fair election, I would have called the victor within seconds of my being aware of his victory to offer not just my congratulations, but my services to help unite Nigeria by being a bridge between the North and the South.

“However, in my democratic struggles for the past three decades, I have never seen our democracy so debased as it was on Saturday, February 23, 2019. 2007 was a challenge, but President Yar’Adua was remorseful. In 2019, it is sad to see those who trampled on democracy thumping their noses down on the Nigerian people. Consequently, I hereby reject the result of the February 23, 2019 sham election and will be challenging it in court. I want to assure my supporters and the entire Nigerian people that together, we will not allow democracy to be emasculated. I hope and pray Nigerians will someday summon the courage to defend democracy. That is the only way we can move away from being the world headquarters for extreme poverty.”

Filed in: Nigeria

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