Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has asked the presidential candidate of the opposition PDP in the 2019 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians instead of appealing the unanimous judgment of the presidential election petition tribunal.



Atiku Abubakar polled second in the presidential election. He rejected the outcome minutes later [Twitter/@bolanle cole]

Atiku had proceeded to court soon after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Muhammadu Buhari of the APC winner of the February 23, 2019 presidential vote.

The PDP candidate and his party had tendered that the election was massively rigged and that Buhari was not qualified to contest in the election in the first instance, as he possessed no valid secondary school certificate. 



Buhari and Atiku were the two frontline candidates in Nigeria’s 2019 presidential vote (Reuters)


AFP

On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, the tribunal dismissed Atiku’s petition in its entirety, striking out one ground after another and affirming Buhari as the winner of the election.

The PDP has announced that it will be challenging the verdict of the tribunal at the Supreme Court. 

However, Mohammed is asking Atiku and his party not to bother for their own good.

“Nigerians are tired of this orchestrated distraction, and will rather wish that the opposition, having lost at the polls and in court, will now join hands with the government to move Nigeria to the next level,” Mohammed said in a statement issued on his behalf by Segun Adeyemi, his spokesperson. 

”This is more so that the judgement validating the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari was unanimous that the petition lacked merit, that the petitioners failed to prove any of the grounds upon which their case was anchored and that President Buhari is eminently qualified to contest the poll.

”It is intriguing that a party that trumpets the rule of law at every turn will present, in open court, evidence it claimed to have obtained by hacking into a supposed INEC server.



Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed takes aim at opposition PDP [Twitter]

“Don’t they realise this is a criminal act for which they are liable? Instead of threatening to head to the Supreme Court, driven more by ego than commonsense, they should be sorry for allowing desperation to overwhelm their sense of reasoning. Enough is enough.”

Lai Mohammed adds that PDP and Atiku tendered “fraudulently-obtained evidence” before the court.

Buhari was declared winner of the election with 15,191,847 votes. Atiku polled second with 11,262,978 votes, according to the electoral umpire.

The margin between both candidates stood at 3,928,869 votes at the close of collation. 


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