A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba, has advised the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in last Saturday’s election, Atiku Abubakar, to accept the results, and not to approach the election tribunal.
Buhari had polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku, who garnered 11,262,978, in the keenly contested election.
Atiku had, however, rejected the presidential election outcome on Wednesday, saying he would challenge it in court because the election was not free or fair, and that it was full of many irregularities.
Agbakoba, in a piece titled, ‘2019 Presidential Election: Ethnic Consideration vs Governance Consideration,” advised Atiku against approaching the court, but to accept the outcome in faith.
Agbakoba said, “I understand the PDP is aggrieved at the outcome of the election and alleged massive irregularities. I urge former Vice President Atiku Abubakar not to approach the Election Petition Tribunal.
“He might have (been) moved backwards by his loss, but he should not lose sight of the legacy and greatness that lie in front of him.”
The SAN described Atiku as being in a position to take up the mantle of a statesman and build a ‘new Nigeria movement’ from the array of small parties, third force actors, change actors and millions who were desperate for a strong and united Nigeria.
“There is also a lot of work to be done in both political and electoral reforms. I request former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to step into the shoes,” he said.
He said, “I can see how tempting it is to take the option of the Election Petition Tribunal. But that, in my view, is not the right decision.
“We look forward to a new Nigeria, strong and united; a new Nigeria that will not vote on the basis of ethnic and primordial sentiments.”
The legal practitioner noted that the voting pattern of last Saturday’s presidential election showed that ethnicity played a significant role in the results, saying that both the APC and the PDP benefited from “primordial voting.”
“The excepted zone is the South-West, where voting occurred on the basis of issues.
“The significance and consequence of the 2019 presidential election are huge unless we are able to reverse it.
“2023 will follow the pattern of 2019 unless we do something about it,” Agbakoba said.