Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, vowed to challenge in court the outcome of the last Saturday’s presidential election he contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In a statement he personally signed and released to journalists, Atiku said: “I hereby reject the result of the February 23, 2019 sham election and will be challenging it in court.
“I want to assure my supporters and the entire Nigerian people that together, we will not allow democracy to be emasculated.”
The former vice president also declared that he wouldn’t have hesitated to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari who was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, if the election had not been characterised by outright fraud.
“If I had lost in a free and fair election, I would have called the victor within seconds of my being aware of his victory to offer not just my congratulations, but my services to help unite Nigeria by being a bridge between the North and the South.
“However, in my democratic struggles for the past three decades, I have never seen our democracy so debased as it was on Saturday, February 23, 2019. The 2007 was a challenge, but the then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was remorseful. In 2019, it is sad to see those who trampled on democracy thumping their noses down on the Nigerian people,” he noted.
Atiku highlighted some of the shortcomings of the elections, which, according to him, include “manifest and premeditated malpractices in many states.”
The statement which was entitled “Democracy Will Not Be Emasculated in Nigeria” reads in part: “One obvious red flag is the statistical impossibility of states ravaged by the war on terror generating much higher voter turnouts than peaceful states. The suppressed votes in my strongholds are so apparent and amateurish, that I am ashamed as a Nigerian that such could be allowed to happen. How can total votes in Akwa Ibom, for instance, be 50 per cent less than what they were in 2015?”
According to him, “Another glaring anomaly is the disruption of voting in strongholds of the PDP in Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and diverse other states, with the authorities doing little or nothing and in some cases facilitating these unfortunate situations.
“The militarisation of the electoral process is a disservice to our democracy and a throwback to the jackboot era of military dictatorship. In some areas of the country, such as Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Imo states, troops deployed for the elections turned their guns on the very citizens they were meant to protect. This is condemnable and should not be associated with our electoral process in the future.
“I am a democrat and there are democratic avenues available to present the truth to the nation and the watching world. Already, many international observers have given their verdicts, which corroborate our observations. I am sure more will come in the coming hours and days,” he added.
Also yesterday, Atiku appealed to foreign investors in Nigeria not to divest their business interests because of what he called the sharp practices that characterised the just-concluded presidential election.
He lamented that Nigeria’s stock market lost N85 billion just immediately Buhari was declared winner.
Addressing a press conference at the Shehu Yardua Centre in Abuja, Atiku noted that by the divestment of their business interests from Nigeria to other countries, foreign investors would only punish ordinary Nigerians who never played any role in the election irregularities.