Nigeria: Govt to Atiku - You Can't Become President Via Back-Door After Being Rejected By Nigerians

(file photo).
12 April 2019

The Federal Government, yesterday, accused former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, of desperately trying to become president through the back-door after being rejected at the polls by Nigerians.

The government also warned Atiku to stop overheating the polity and stop trying to instigate a political crisis in Nigeria through desperate actions that may not be backed by law.

Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said at a briefing in Abuja, while flanked by the President's Senior Special Assistant on Media, Garba Shehu, said: "Yes, Atiku Abubakar has lost an election. But he will not be the first or the last person to lose an election, and he should realise that losing an election is not the end of the world. He has challenged the result of the election in court. That's just as well.

"However, he should not give the impression that he does not have confidence in the judicial process, which is what resorting to self-help implies. He should stop overheating the polity and quit trying to instigate a political crisis in Nigeria. No citizen, no matter how highly placed, is above the laws of the land. Enough is enough.

"There is no doubt that the PDP presidential candidate, out of desperation, is thinking of replicating the Venezuelan model right here in Nigeria. But he should realise that Nigeria is not Venezuela, and that the situations in both countries are not the same.

"President Muhammadu Buhari won the February 23, 2019 presidential elections fair and square, with a margin of 3,928,869 million votes. The election's credibility was attested to by local and foreign observers.

"There is no doubt that President Buhari's victory is well deserved. As I said at a different fora, it represents the triumph of the ordinary Nigerians over the elite. The election is a direct contest between ordinary Nigerians and the elite, most of whom are rent seekers.

"Of course, the ordinary Nigerians have won. This is not a surprise, considering the pro-poor policy of the administration. Despite the antics of the naysayers, Nigerians demonstrated that they appreciate the giant strides that have been made by the administration; whether in the areas of economy, fight against corruption or in tackling insecurity.

"Atiku Abubakar has the right to do whatever is lawful to challenge the outcome of that election. But he cannot get through the backdoor what he couldn't get through the front door. That will be a pipe dream.

"If he believes hiring a foreign lobbying firm will advance his quest, we wish him the best of luck. But seeking US recognition as the winner of an election that he lost by almost four million votes is unconscionable. Recall, gentlemen, that after the result of the presidential election was announced, the US joined other countries to congratulate President Buhari.

"We are aware of media reports that the PDP presidential candidate, on Wednesday, distanced himself from the posters that are circulating in Abuja. He also reportedly denied hiring US lobbyists, claiming tongue-in-cheek that the APC fabricated the report.

"If the media reports are right, it means that the former vice president has suddenly realised the grave implication of his actions, hence has decided to beat a quick retreat before it is too late."

"As a self-avowed democrat, he should realise that the only lawful channel for challenging the result of an election is through the courts. Resorting to self-help, as he seems to be doing now, is an act of desperation and the consequences are dire."

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