•Tells Atiku, Obi: ‘You can’t be in court and on the streets’
By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has raised the alarm over alleged plots by some aggrieved partisans to truncate the transition process, particularly his expected swearing-in on May 29.
Tinubu, in a statement by his Director, Public Affairs and Minister of State Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, also warned the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and that of the Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi, against taking to the streets while also pursuing their cases in court.
In the statement in Abuja, the President-elect noted that those who have taken to the streets protesting against his mandate are fixated on having an Interim National Government ING.
Part of the statement reads: “We have watched with great concern the condemnable activities of some persons and groups who are desirous of truncating our democracy.
“For reasons best known to them, these persons have remained embittered that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared winner of the 2023 General Elections. Repeatedly, but unfortunately, these misguided individuals have called for either the cancellation of the results or that the President-elect should not be inaugurated on the 29th of May, 2023.
“We wish to reiterate and emphasise that these positions are not in tandem with our constitutional provisions or our electoral laws. We would have taken these as mere wishful thinking, however because of their implications for national security and public order, we have therefore considered it necessary, if not expedient, to call them to order.
“We are aware of the intentions of those engaged in these treasonable and subversive acts. We also know those involved in the many plots being contrived to undermine the transition in particular and democracy in general. They are fixated with an Interim Government. They have done it in this country before and it threw the country into avoidable crises for many years and they want to do it again. They are bent on delegitimizing the new government. Some have made treasonable insinuations and openly called for military take-over. It is for these reasons that they are desperate to incite the people against the incoming Government.
“It is perplexing to see that those contesting the results want to be in the courts and on the streets at the same time. However, if their intention is to truncate the inauguration of the President-elect and Vice-President elect, they should immediately bury the thought. It is gratifying to note that the President has set in motion steps for the actualisation of the swearing-in ceremonies. In this regard, the Presidential Transition Council has remained focused and committed to its Terms of Reference in respect of organizing a hitch-free handover”.
The statement noted that on many occasions after the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the election, his public speeches and utterances have centered on reconciliation, forgiveness and greater vision for Nigeria.
It added that the President-elect knows those who are sponsoring violent protests against his mandate as well as their sponsors from within and outside Nigeria and shall be working closely with the security agencies to apprehend them and bring them to book
The statement went on: “He has pledged fairness as the basis for his present and future engagements. He has unequivocally stated that he would not accord favour to those that supported him, neither would he mistreat those who did not vote for him. This is statesmanly and patriotic.
We all watched the President-elect as Governor of Lagos for eight years. He never undermined any person or tribe. He championed people-oriented policies. It is common knowledge that he is a welfarist and a pacifist. This is even more so that millions of citizens have spoken through the ballot box in his favour.
“By being declared winners, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima are legally entitled to be inaugurated into office as provided for by law and as we have practiced since 1999, whilst those who feel otherwise have the right to seek legal redress in court. Why should their situation be different from what we have practiced since 1999?
“Those who are dissatisfied with the declaration must conduct themselves within the ambits of the law. Nigeria is not a lawless country and should not be portrayed as such no matter the frustrations as presently being exhibited by some bad losers.
Opposition inciting Nigerians —Mayaki
Also, a chieftain of APC, John Mayaki, raised a similar alarm, fingering two leading presidential candidates.
Mayaki, who is the Chairman of the Edo State Media and Publicity Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, said this in a statement.
According to him, “these opposition political parties are orchestrating diabolic arrangements to truncate the country’s democracy. Having lost the presidential election, the Labour Party has now rejoined its parent party, the PDP, and together they are plotting an unconstitutional overthrow of the ballots.
“They huffed and puffed for days, boasting that they have the evidence to prove their spurious allegations of rigging and other electoral malpractices in court. But after due consultation with serious legal experts, and with the mockery that trailed their laughable petitions, they have since realised the futility of the suit, and are seeking other illegal means to block the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The opposition is not only inciting Nigerians to continue to protest and calling for the annulment of the election. They have been spreading hate and inciting Nigerians to make sure that the President-elect is not sworn-in. They haven’t stopped there, they have also made the judiciary the target of their attack in a dangerous attempt to intimidate the institution and sow the seeds of nonexistent bias in the mind of its headless mob.”
“Those who are stoking the embers of hate, division and falsehoods as well as peddling misleading narratives through some compromised media outlets should detract from such. It amounts to campaigning after elections. Hate speeches, fake news and propaganda at a time like this are needless because Nigerians have already made their choice. Those who are bent on scuttling the process will ignite the fire of destruction and run away. But they should not even start.
“We simply wish that peace reigns in the country. It does not make sense that some persons who should know better are encouraging violence and are so determined to achieve that.
“We know these persons and their sponsors from within and outside Nigeria and we shall be working closely with the security agencies to apprehend them and bring them to book. Our concern is that everyday Nigerians who are unaware of the evil intentions of these persons should not be used as cannon fodders. Enough is enough. Their continuous determination to dare us should cease forthwith. We are not lacking in capabilities and capacities. Our silence should not be taken for cowardice. We should come together for the peace of our beloved country. It is better”.
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