By Ayodele Oluwafemi
The National Chairman of the United Progressive Congress (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, has said that the petition filed by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) against the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election only succeeded in distracting the attention of Nigerians unnecessarily.
It would be recalled that the President Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja led by the Justice Mohammed Garba, on Wednesday, dismissed the petition in its entirety filed by Atiku and PDP.
Reacting to the judgement, UPP national chairman noted that the tribunal vindicated UPP, that had earlier advised the PDP and its presidential candidate not to file any petition against the victory of Buhari.
Part of the statement reads that:
“It is with joy that we recall that on 17th August, 2018, when the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great Party resolved unequivocally to support President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for 2019 Presidential election, we unambiguously stated in our address to the Press immediately after our NEC meeting of the same date that we would contribute our quota to ensure that the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 23rd February 2019 Presidential Election would be so resounding in a manner that would make any petition against the outcome of the election to be a mere and unnecessary national distraction.
“On 20th November, 2018, the leaders of our Party led by our National Chairman, Chief Dr. Chekwas Okorie were granted audience at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to meet with the President where the Party conveyed its resolution not to present a Presidential Candidate on the platform of the UPP in order to focus our attention and energy in campaigning for him. He won the election with a margin of nearly four million votes to his closest rival. We sincerely advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to accept the outcome of the election in the spirit of sportsmanship.
“Unfortunately, they opted to proceed to the Tribunal with their petition against the election of President Buhari. True to our prediction, they have only succeeded in distracting the attention of the Nigerian people unnecessarily. We hope that their misadventure will be allowed to rest at this point, and save the nation of further distraction.
“In congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari, we urge him to accept his victory with the magnanimity of a forgiving father. He should remain focused in carrying out the onerous responsibilities of his Office. The United Progressive Party and its leadership are committed to remain constructively engaged with the President until the successful completion of his second and final tenure as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”