22 March 2019

Nigeria: Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Back Atiku to Challenge Poll Results

The Southern and Middle Belt leaders have thrown their weight behind the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar's resolve to challenge outcome of the 2019 presidential poll.

They also rejected outcome of the poll, saying President Muhammadu Buhari should bear a huge moral burden of the fraud that was perpetrated in the elections.

The former vice president has challenged the re-election Buhari in court.

He met with the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders on Wednesday in Abuja where he expressed confidence in the ability of judiciary in doing the right thing on the matter.

In a communiqué at the end of the regional leaders meeting, the group adjudged the 2019 elections as the lowest moment in the country's democracy.

The communiqué was signed by Yinka odumakin South west; Prof Chigozie Ogbu South-east; Senator Bassey Henshaw South-south; and Dr. Isuwa Dogo, Middle Belt.

The meeting also condemned the role of the security agencies in the polls, stating that it was very shameful.

The meeting further resolved to continue to push for the restructuring of the country.

According to the leaders: "The meeting adjudged the 2019 elections as the lowest moment in our democratic history as the entire process fell below the minimum standards.

"The total subversion of the will of the people it represented was premeditated with the refusal of the President to sign the Electoral Bill into Law, the undue militarisation of the polls , intimidation of the electorates especially in demographics considered hostile to the ruling party and impetuous manipulation of figures to achieve preconceived ends

"The President should bear a huge moral burden that it was under his Presidency that all the democratic gains we made over the years have been reversed when the contrary was expected from him having railed against alleged malpracises in the three previous elections he lost .

"We reject the declared Winner still: That flowing from (1) above, we cannot accept the declared winner from the elections. We, therefore, endorsed the decision of Alhaji Abubakar and his party to challenge the results in court as the elections result cannot stand the scrutiny of any self-respecting court .

"Towards this end, we call on the judiciary to shun the climate of fear that pervades Nigeria to do justice knowing fully well that the gaze of the entire world is on it .

"We cannot allow the unbecoming role of the military to go unchallenged.

To this end, we demand a high power inquiry into the role of the military in the subversion of the democratic process so that all the culprits can be brought to book."

Nigeria

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