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Monday, 4 March 2019

36 presidential candidates beg Atiku to drop litigation against Buhari

36 presidential candidates beg Atiku to drop litigation against Buhari

File copy: L-R: Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah; Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III; Gen Yakubu Gowon (retd.); President Muhammadu Buhari; Chairman National Peace Committee/Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar; Vice Chairman, National Peace Committee, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe; Anglican Archbishop of Abuja Province, Bishop Nicholas Okoh; Alhaji Aliko Dangote; and other presidential candidates after the Signing of a Peace Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding by presidential candidates and party chairmen in Abuja...Photo: State House
Sunday Aborisade and Success Nwogu, Abuja

The Forum of Presidential Candidates and Political Parties for Good Governance, has appealed to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to shelve the idea of challenging the outcome of the just concluded presidential election in court.

The forum made up of chairmen and candidates of 36 political parties, who contested the election with the winner, President Muhammadu Buhari, specifically urged Atiku to disregard the advice of those asking him to challenge the outcome of the poll in court.

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The chairman of the forum, Mr. Shittu Kabir, stated this in a statement he read on behalf of his colleagues at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

He said that the group has started a robust discussion with Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress with a view to being magnanimous in victory by setting up a government of national unity.

Kabir said, “We have advised the government to be magnanimous in victory. I believe that will be done. We have urged them that irrespective of political party or religion or tribe, the government should pick the best brains across the land and those who can contribute to the development of the country across the nation.”

He noted that Atiku, who has already set up a formidable team of legal experts for the judicial battle ahead, has the right to approach the court but that he should forget the litigation option in the interest of peace.

He said, “We strongly urge Alhaji Abubakar to drop the legal option in expressing his grievances. This is consistent with the counsel of many well-meaning Nigerians including Chief Olisa Agbakoba.

“We also believe that the former vice president has made a mark among Nigerians of means who have positively impacted their communities. We think he has a lot more to contribute to developing humanity and promoting peace and progress in our nation, even without holding any political office.

“At his age, he should now avoid any action and utterances capable of fanning the embers of discord, disagreement and violent conduct. Nigeria is greater than any personal or class interest.

“Atiku has his right and nobody can infringe on his right. That is why we have not said he cannot go to court but we are saying he should not go to court.

“Instead of wasting that time and maybe draw our developmental stride backwards, let us give our nation time for development and let the government be focused on providing good governance.

“We need to get the country out of the wood and address national issues instead of diverting the attention of the government by going to court.”

It also said part of their task would be to convince the President to sign the Electoral Bill into law with a view to preventing the irregularities, rigging and violence that usually characterised elections in the country.

He said, “If that bill as approved by the National Assembly had been assented by the president, all the litigations and crimes that we are having would been taken care of.”

The group also urged the independent National Electoral Commission, to improve on its operational logistics next Saturday and ensure that all Nigerians willing to vote are able to exercise their franchise without hindrance.

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