By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—LEADERS of Thought and Elder statesmen from four of the geo-political zones of the country, under the aegis of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, yesterday, threw its weight behind the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, going to court to challenge the result of the presidential election.
According to them, challenging the results declared by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by Atiku and PDP was a welcome development against the backdrop that the results cannot stand the scrutiny of any self respecting court.
They called on the judiciary to shun what they termed the climate of fear that pervades Nigeria and do justice because the entire world would like the judiciary to do the needful.
The elders and leaders have, however, described the just concluded February 23 presidential, National Assembly and March 9, gubernatorial, state Houses of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory, FCT Area Council elections as the lowest moment in the nation’s democratic history.
Rising from a meeting, yesterday, in Abuja at the Asokoro residence of Chief Edwin Clark, the leaders who lampooned the electoral process, especially that of the presidential election, said the process fell below the minimum standards,
In a statement yesterday, by Yinka Odumakin for South West; Prof Chigozie Ogbu for South East; Senator Bassey Henshaw for South-South and Dr Isuwa Dogo for Middle Belt, the elders and leaders said the total subversion of the will of the people was traceable to President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the Electoral Act Amendment into law.
The leaders also challenged the National Peace Committee, NPC, led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd) to understand that justice is the foundation of peace.
According to the group, “after exhaustive deliberations, we adjudged the 2019 eections as the lowest moment in our democratic history as the entire process fell below the minimum standards.
“The total subversion of the will of the people it represented was premeditated with the refusal of the President to sign the Electoral Bill into law, the undue militarisation of the polls, intimidation of the electorate, especially in demographics considered hostile to the ruling party and impunitous manipulation of figures to achieve preconceived ends.”