President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to deploy its energy towards providing robust and rigorous opposition for the country. Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, stated this yesterday in reaction to the Supreme Court judgement on the PDP case challenging Buhari’s victory in the February 23 presidential election.
Garba, who noted that the presidency welcomes the elucidation of the Supreme Court ruling on the PDP petition, said the government also appreciated the PDP and their candidate for taking these claims to courts rather than expressing them in other ways, but now Nigeria needed a robust and rigorous opposition.
He said: “While it is correct to give credit to the courts for affirming this electoral victory-and we commend the courage of the bench to arrive at the right conclusion given manifest and subtle pressures to do otherwise-the reality is that courts were convinced by arguments from the lawyers representing the APC and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari that results reflected the true wishes of a majority of our citizens.
“President Buhari won four million more votes than his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the February poll. “No serious electoral observers have challenged this result. And now the Supreme Court has explained why the PDP’s appeal is unsubstantiated.
We hope this finally puts the matter behind us. ”We should now grasp this moment to move forward – together,” the statement added. While making reference to the Supreme Court judgement, Garba said that Justices unanimously reiterated that the onus of proof must necessarily fall on those that challenged the vote.
“Allegations must be substantiated if they are to hold, and this requires producing credible witnesses that verify key claims. As the Supreme Court has stated, the case failed this test. “On the issue of qualifications, President Buhari has a long history of service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The questioning of this fact seems to fly in the face of all evidence,” he said.