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Friday, 10 March 2023

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Presidency says June 12, 1993, saga won’t repeat itself

The Presidency yesterday ruled out annulment of the presidential and National Assembly elections of February 25 allegedly characterised by irregularities, saying it won’t allow June 12, 1993, saga to repeat itself.

Consequently, it advised any candidate or political party not satisfied with the conduct and outcome of the election to approach the court for redress.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement issued yesterday,  titled “At the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries, LDCs, disclosed President Buhari drummed up support for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Presidency.

He said before the election, President Buhari had in different fora, both local and international, assured that he would ensure that the elections that would herald his exit from office would be credible and that the outcome would reflect the wish of the people in choosing who would lead them.

The signing into the law the Electoral Act, 2022 and the use of technology for the elections were indications that President Buhari was ready to bequeath to Nigeria, a transparent electoral process, devoid of manipulations.

However, controversy has trailed the conduct and outcome of the February 25 presidential election as INEC had been accused of failing to follow strictly the Electoral Act, with regard to transmission of results from the BVAS to the iREV immediately after collation at the polling units.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was the first to raise the alarm that INEC had compromised the conduct of the election by not keeping to the electoral laws and had in a statement he issued, called on President Buhari to call the electoral umpire to order, so the country would not be thrown into political crisis.

But the presidential spokesman in what could be said to be the takeaways he listed from the President’s participation at the LDCs Conference, in Doha, Qatar, said Buhari, while speaking to Nigerians in the Diaspora about the ongoing political transition, called for support for the incoming government of Asiwaju Tinubu.

He said:  “In addition to other things, this trip, more than any other, speaks to the courage, political stamina and statesmanship with which the President has managed the affairs of the nation.

“Before the trip, he was faced with orchestrated attempts to poison public opinion against national institutions, particularly the presidential election and its conduct by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as an institution, against which vile and unsubstantiated allegations were hurled.

“The clear intent of this was creating an atmosphere of fear, polarising the public and demonising the administration of the President. The wishful thinkers appeared to assume that the June 12, 1993, election crisis, the worst ever since the civil war could be recreated.

”Those who sought to do this forgot what the President said at the palace of the Gbong-Gwon Jos, when he went to the city to inaugurate the Tinubu-Shettima campaign:  “this election will not be annulled; whoever is the winner will be president.”

“President Buhari not only muted himself, following the cacophony, he picked up international travel: Bola Tinubu’s election stands. If you are aggrieved, and you have the locus to do so, go to court.’’

“President Buhari used the opportunity of the visit to speak to his guests about the recent election in Nigeria and the fact that a new President would be taking over in less than three months.

”He expressed hope that the strong relations he had built between those countries will continue to endure in the new administration.”

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