Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has supported the decision of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
Obasanjo said this in a statement he personally signed, dated March 23, 2019 and titled ‘Statement by Olusegun Obasanjo on the judgement of the Osun governorship election petitions tribunal, Dubai.”
The statement was made available to newsmen in Abeokuta on Saturday.
The former president argued that if Buhari had challenged his defeat in three previous presidential contests before his 2015 victory, Atiku should not be dissuaded from contesting his loss at the election tribunal.
He equally berated those who had called on his former deputy not to challenge his defeat at the tribunal, tagging them “evil minds.”
Obasanjo said, “Nigeria is of age; and if Buhari could go to court three times to seek justice, even without reasonable cause, any Nigerian, who feels denied of justice must feel free to go to court.
“Those who have conceived and are promoting the narrative that if Atiku Abubakar continues to seek legal redress, there will be violence, are evil minds looking for excuse to unleash violence on Nigerians.
“At no time in history has sustainable peace built on theft, injustice, corruption and inequality.
“These merchants of chaos and violence should have no place in any decent society. And they must know that no intimidation or prophecy of violence and doomsday will cow anybody. Nigeria belongs to Nigerians.”
Obasanjo added, “We will respect as friends those who believe that what is good for their country should be good for Nigeria.
“Yes, we are Africans but we have values that are consistent with international standards.
“Court is part of our democratic process and it must be used when necessary if only to achieve justice, stability, unity and progress for our country.”
The former President, however, hailed the verdict of the Osun State Election Petitions Tribunal which upturned the victory of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Gboyega Oyetola, and declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Àdemola Adeleke, as the winner of the September 22, 2018 contest.
Obasanjo believed that the verdict of the tribunal had renewed confidence in the judiciary.
He nevertheless alleged that there were coordinated efforts by some unnamed political leaders to undermine or destroy Nigeria’s democracy.
The former President added, “While I was in Dubai to attend the global education and skills forum meeting, I received the news of the judgement of the Osun State governorship election petitions tribunal declaring Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, the winner of the 2018 governorship election in the state.
“Let me take this opportunity to commend the tribunal for its courage in nullifying what was clearly an illegality.
“This action by the judicial officers, albeit a first step in the legal process, gives renewed confidence in the judiciary at a time when there are coordinated efforts by some political leaders to undermine, if not destroy it.”
Obasanjo warned that whatever happened to democracy in Nigeria would have implications not just for Africa but the world.
He said, “As I have repeatedly said, the world is watching events in Nigeria with keen interest.
“What we do or do not do right in our electoral process will have implications not just for Nigeria, but for Africa and indeed the world.
“By correcting what was clearly a desperate attempt to change the will of the Osun people, the tribunal has saved Nigeria from great embarrassment and started the process of saving and strengthening our democracy.”
Obasanjo, however, commended Adeleke for challenging his defeat in court.
The former President, however, explained that he had refrained from passing comments on the 2019 presidential election because a party in the contest had gone to court to challenge the outcome.
Obasanjo stated, “We will continue to sustain Nigeria in stability and unity on the altar of justice, equity, fairness, freedom, human rights and democracy.
“Stability cannot be successfully built on injustice, corruption, inequity and divided nation, and incompetence, nepotism and one-sidedness.
“Nigeria will march forward with or without those who will want to feed us with diet of values and actions that are not acceptable in their own countries.”
2019 election not perfect, but better than previous elections, says EU EOM
The European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria has said that the 2019 general elections has showed significant improvement compared to previous elections held in the country.
Marie Arena, chief observer and leader of the mission, said this on Saturday in Abuja while presenting the mission’s final report on the general election.
Arena, while reacting to questions from journalists, said the current administration has implemented many of the recommendations the mission made in 2015.
She listed some of the “prominent items” that were recommended and have been implemented to include “the development and maintenance of a functional voter register, the merger of the accreditation and voting processes for ease for voters, improving the sanction powers of INEC, increasing the number of polling units, immediate display of results in collation centres, more involved participation of civil society and citizen observation among others.”
The EOM has since 1999, observed all general election in Nigeria. Its previous reports had highlighted “serious issues” with the electoral processes in the country.
In 2003, the mission said the elections held under former President Olusegun Obasanjo were “marred by serious irregularities and frauds.
“In a number of States the minimum standards for democratic elections were not met. EU EOM observers witnessed and obtained evidence of widespread electoral fraud,” it had said.
The mission had also said that the “highly competitive” 2015 elections “were marred by incidents of violence, abuse of incumbency at state and federal levels, and attempts at manipulation.”
In its preliminary report on the 2019 polls, the EOM said Nigerian soldiers barred them from monitoring elections in Rivers state.
Arena also decried the violence, underage voting, and vote-buying, which she claimed marred the governorship and house of assembly elections in some states.
The court of appeal, in April, said 736 petitions had been filed to challenge the outcome of the general election.
We are ready to reform Electoral processes ahead of 2023, says INEC
Yakubu said that the processes for the reform of electoral processes were already ongoing ahead of the 2023 elections in the country.
The INEC Chairman noted that the various recommendations, including that of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in the 2019 polls, would form major inputs in the areas of reform.
Yakubu, who spoke at a meeting with the Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission, Maria Arena in Abuja pointed out that a report will be submitted to the newly inaugurated Ninth National Assembly at the end of its review of last general elections.
According to him “we shall study your recommendations and we shall engage with the leadership of the 9th National Assembly on areas that require legislation while implementing aspects of the reform within the powers of the Commission in full consultation with stakeholders.
“There is so much work to do but little time ahead of us. The EU has been part of Nigeria’s steady progress towards democratic consolidation since 1999.
The INEC chairman noted that the EU recommendation to his Commission that it should merge the accreditation and voting processes on election day, has been implemented as the electoral umpire experimented with it when it conducted governorship election in Bayelsa 2015.
He pointed out that the 30 observations and recommendations made available by the EU election observation mission in 2015 would among others, be instrumental to the improvement of Nigeria’s electoral processes, adding that this will include the consolidation of the country’s democratic system since 1999.
According to INEC chairman the recommendation by the EU that INEC would merge the accreditation and voting processes on election day, a system which was tested ran during the Bayelsa governorship election of December 2015 remains invaluable till date.
Igbos Yoruba!! must come together as One without achieving this, Nigeria won’t exist” – Ooni
Senate Presidency: Fani-Kayode congratulates Ahmed Lawan for his victory
Buhari’s name not included In the list of African Presidents by US
The Corporate Council on Africa, in partnership with the government of Mozambique, will host the 12th United States, US-Africa Business Summit, this year, in Maputo, from June 18 to 21, with at least 12 African Presidents expected to grace the event.
President Muhammadu Buhari is not however, included in the list of the Heads of States.
The Summit will bring together more than 1,000 American and African private sector Executives, international Investors, senior government Officials, and multilateral Stakeholders.
Twelve African Heads of States are confirmed as Speakers at the Summit, taking place at the Joaquim Chissano International Conference Centre.
Among them are: Filipe Nyusi, President, Republic of Mozambique; King Mswati III, Kingdom of Eswatini; Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda; Hage Geingob, President, Republic of Namibia; Uhuru Kenyatta, President, Republic of Kenya; and José Mário Vaz, President, Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
Others are: Peter Mutharika, President, Republic of Malawi; Peter Mutharika, President, Republic of Malawi; Edgar Lungu, President, Republic of Zambia; Mokgweetsi Masisi, President, Republic of Botswana; Emmerson Mnangagwa, President, Republic of Zimbabwe; Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President, Republic of Equatorial Guinea; and Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister, Republic of Uganda.
Senior US Government officials from key American Agencies, including the Department of Commerce, OPIC, Department of State, MCC, USAID, USTDA, EX-IM, and others, will also be at the Summit, and will announce the latest developments in US-Africa.
Themed: “Advancing a Resilient and Sustainable Partnership”, the Corporate Council on Africa’s 2019 Summit, will engage key US and African government Officials and decision makers, to discuss their strategies, vision, and initiatives, to facilitate increased business and investment.
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You’re threatening the unity of Nigeria’ — Junaid attack Obasanjo, Others
Politician and physician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has attacked former President Olusegun Obasanjo, erstwhile Defence Minister, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, and a host of others for claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari was promoting an Islamisation and Fulanisation agenda.
Junaidu Danjuma and a handful of notable retired officers, under the aegis of Nigerian Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF), had, last week, raised the alarm that the Buhari administration was backing jihadists instead of ruthlessly fighting them.
Claiming they were miffed by the indifference displayed by the current administration towards the evil agenda, the retired officers reported the alleged refusal of the administration to confront islamisation to the United Kingdom’s All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Before then, Obasanjo has taken the Buhari administration up on the purported Fulanisation/Islamisation agenda at a church programme in Delta State.
Junaid, who was a member of President Goodluck Jonathan’s National Constitutional Conference, slammed the former military officers over what he described as trying to assume the role of speaking for Nigerians when they had not been so authorized by the people.
The politician, from Kano and who has remained very vocal in the political circles, asked Obasanjo, Danjuma and the others to stop polluting the Nigerian political and religious space with venom that has the potential to destroy the country rather than unite the people.
He said, “First and foremost, I have absolute contempt for what Obasanjo and his friends have said about Nigeria. What they have said will threaten the unity of this country and it is painful that they are not really speaking for the generality of Nigerians but merely seeking self-interest.
These are statements from some elements who attempted to dismember Nigerian and failed and are now arrogating to themselves the task of speaking for Nigerians when they have not so been appointed by the people.
“What is most painful is that they connived and imposed Buhari on the rest of the people and, having failed woefully to control him and his government, they are now trying to voice their failure on the rest of the country as if they are messiahs.
“Let it be made known to these retired army officers that, in the event of war breaking out on account of their incendiary language, they are not likely to belong to the winning side because Nigerians are now more matured and are not ready to be taking instructions of sermons from soldiers who have no self respect.
“I have no business with Buhari or his administration but we cannot listen to a group of people who are selfishly working to be heard by Nigerians principally for their selfish interests. Nigerians are not ready and willing to allow them to dictate what is good and bad to them anymore.
“They should realize by now that Nigerians do not owe them anything and are not willing to be led or counseled by soldiers anymore.
“These former soldiers actively take undue advantage of Buhari’s inaccurate perception of leadership and the cabal he surrounds himself with to attempt to confuse Nigerians as if they are the voice and conscience of the Nigerian people while seeking to actualize selfish goals.
“If they have forgotten, the former generals should be reminded that they went to war as a choice and had been generously rewarded for services rendered and that Nigerians neither owe them anything nor require selfish counseling on national issues.”
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