Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has drawn attention to moves being made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) to throw Nigeria into a constitutional crisis and political chaos.
A statement today, February 27, by Festus Keyamo, the Director of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson, Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, said: “we have it on good authority that the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party have perfected plans to finally scuttle our democracy and throw the country into constitutional crises by surreptitiously obtaining exparte court orders stopping the announcement of the Presidential Election results which they fear have gone against them.”
The statement said that the walk-out they staged today at the National Collation Center is just a precursor to executing the plan.
The statement went on:
Nigerians would recall that the June 12, 1993 debacle that brought Nigeria to its knees and caused our country international isolation was precipitated by a court injunction stopping the announcement of Presidential Election results. The court order was obtained by a certain Association for Better Nigeria headed then by one Chief Authur Nzeribe. This is exactly what Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi want to foist on this nation again because of their inordinate ambitions. This is not surprising because both candidates where nowhere to be seen when ASIWAJU was fighting for the democracy we all enjoy today.
However, we wish to draw the attention of Nigerians, the Judiciary and the world to the provisions of section 84 (15) of the Electoral Act which prohibits the grant of injunctions to the stop the holding of elections (which includes the declaration of results). The section states:
‘Nothing in this section shall empower the courts to stop the holding of primaries or general elections under this Act pending the determination of a suit.’
This has prompted their instructions to their campaign organizations, especially their spokespersons to continue to issue statements, making false claims of ‘victory’ when there is no single scientific basis for such claims. For instance, as outlandish as some of their claims of manipulation are, they have not pointed at one single presidential election result in any single unit in the whole country where they scored a particular figure with a result sheet duly signed by their agent that was subsequently changed at a Collation Centre. All we hear are sound bites of their spokespersons, huffing and puffing about winning the election just to whip up public sentiments to prepare the ground to reject the results when they are eventually released by INEC.
For us our position is very simple and straight forward: we wish to allow the legal process of declaring presidential election results to take place peacefully and in an orderly fashion. ASIWAJU is not desperate, but is very confident of victory.
We therefore wish to advice anyone who wishes to aid and encourage these candidates along this infamous part to remember the June 12 debacle. They may also wish to learn a lesson or two from President Muhammadu Buhari who resorted to the court of law in 2003, 2007 and 2011 when same PDP ‘defeated’ him in those presidential elections in controversial circumstances. President Buhari, as a true statesman and democrat, never resorted to underhand tactics to declare himself President.
We hope a word is enough for the wise.