*says it is not time to move on
By Prince Kori
President Muhammadu Buhari has appreciated the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for taking the legal route to contest his victory at the presidential election of February 2019, rather than resorting to self-help.
In a statement issued on Friday, the President, however, challenged the PDP, which fielded former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as its candidate against Buhari, to now move on and take up its role as a robust opposition party
While welcoming the Supreme Court judgment which grounds for affirming Buhari’s victory was explained earlier in the day, the statement noted that it reiterated that the onus of proof must necessarily fall on those that challenge the vote.
The statement was issued by presidential spokesman, Garbage Shehu and it stressed that: “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.
“However, now it is time for the PDP to take up the service mandated by this election.
“The legislative agenda of the ninth assembly is ambitious in both size and scope. It is critical the opposition is there to scrutinize bills and policies, rather than preoccupy themselves with unsustainable court cases.
“We appreciate the PDP and their candidate for taking these claims to courts rather than expressing them in other ways, but now Nigeria needs a robust and rigorous opposition. The nation needs to move on.
“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 appeal is unsubstantiated. We hope this finally puts the matter behind us. We should now grasp this moment to move forward – together.”