By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Pastor Aminchi Habu, on Monday, revealed the terms of agreement he reached with President Muhammadu Buhari, that led to the withdrawal of the petition he filed to annul the outcome of the February 23 presidential election.
Habu and his party had gone before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja to void President Buhari’s re-election following the exclusion of the party’s logo on the ballot paper that was used for the presidential election.
In the joint petition marked CA/PEPC/004/2019, the party urged the tribunal to order a fresh poll, contending that the none inclusion of its logo on the ballot paper denied it the opportunity to contest the election, after it had spent a lot of money on campaigns.
However, on July 24 when the Justice Mohammed Garba-led panel was set to commence hearing on the matter, the party, announced its decision to withdraw the matter.
The petitioners simply informed the tribunal that the decision was based on national interest, saying they found “other alternative ways of seeking redress”.
Neither the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, President Buhari nor and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, opposed the withdrawal request.
Meanwhile, briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday, Pastor Habu, said he decided to terminate hearing of the petition, after President Buhari made promises to him, to improve the security situation in Christian dominated regions of the North such as Southern Kaduna.
He said the President also assured him that he would pay more attention to the provision of infrastructure and social amenities to the areas.
However, Habu, denied that he was bought over by either the Presidency or the APC.
He said: “I have interacted with the respondents and I have been assured that the interest of his constituency will be addressed by the present government.
“I withdrew my case because I have been vindicated. I came to the honourable tribunal Court of Appeal to seek a remedy for my exclusion and today I am convinced that I do not need to proceed further with this petition for the reasons I am about to state to you.
“I represent the marginalized and hardworking people of the Northern Christian Community, Middle Belt and Northern Minorities. I took the decision to contest so that I will be a voice for the above constituency which I represent. My people were mobilized and ready to overwhelmingly deliver on my mandate only to realize that my party and its logo were missing on the ballot paper. We went to the court to seek redress for my unlawful exclusion.
“However, in the intervening period since filling my petition, the parties involved have despite the pending petition sought political remedies and solutions to address my concern.
“But most importantly, I have now discovered that the present government of All Progressive Congress led by President Muhammadu Buhari shares my vision and that of my people.
“The reasons for which I decided to contest the February 23 general election of this country is the same vision and zeal which the government of president Muhammadu Buhari operates. It is an all inclusive government where the voices of the minority are heard despite the majority having their way.
“I have presented the wishes of my people the majority of Nigerians and their desires to this government which has listened and promised to act on these wishes.
“Instead of leading to tribunal to annul the election, I have decided to work with this government to deliver on its electoral promises and mandate”.