By Aishat Salihu
Following the victory of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) against the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s Abubakar Atiku seeking to disqualify the February 23 Presidential election, some Nigerians among others have reacted differently.
The PEPT which had passed judgement on the case during a 10 hour long sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, declared Mr Buhari the winner of the election and dismissed the petition in totality.
Although, APC party stakeholders, state governors and well meaning Nigerians who were also present at the sitting had congratulated Mr. President on his victory, other parties, however, had a different view of the outcome of the PEPT’s judgement.
In reaction, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), spokesperson, Mr. Imo Ugochinyere, in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday, said it was an insult to Nigerians while rejecting the verdict completely stating that it is law turned upside down and a provocation to Nigerians.
The statement read in part, “From the totality of the judgment, the Court of Appeal PEPT panel has lost the rare opportunity presented to it by the petition of the consensus opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to put an end to electoral fraud, leadership incompetence and the imposition of an unfit leader on the people.
“By their judgment today, majority of Nigerians who had believed, though erroneously, that the judiciary was indeed independent have been brazenly awakened to the fact and correct belief that the Presidency had successfully hijacked the judiciary and Nigerians can only expect judgments and not justice.
“All credible observer groups both local and international were unanimous in their verdict that the election was below the standard of the 2015 and was massively rigged in favour of the President, the Court of Appeal wasted the opportunity and have by so doing endorsed the insecurity in the land, mismanagement of national resources, electoral fraud, forgery of documents and certificates submitted to INEC and indeed threatened the very foundations of our democracy.
“Could the Court as it had done in times past not this time also considered the state of the nation, mood of Nigerians, national security issues and taken a decision boldly, impartially and firmly in the interest of Nigerians and Nigeria? Today’s judgment is a manipulation of the law and the brazen use of technicality to stamp injustice, Rob the people of justice and deny the nation the chance to have a leader that they truly elected in the Person of Atiku Abubakar.
“The nation weeps today, West Africa is crying and the International community is in shock. Our brothers who are being held hostages by poverty, bandits, killed daily etc are now in coma as the Appeal Court have used today’s judgment to deny them a saviour and foisted on them a leader who was not eligible for presidential office, a leader who does not have the capacity to govern, a leader who rode on the blood of our people to power using security agencies, a leader who employs divisive weapon and ethnicity in governance and a leader who claims to be fighting corruption but dinning and sleeping with men known to be corrupt. The nation is the loser today, not Atiku Abubakar or the opposition”.