“We thank you for your support for PDP, for your commitment to democracy.
“Nigerians know that you voted PDP, even APC knows that you rejected them on February 23, 2019.
“International community knows you voted for PDP. If Supreme Court of seven justices says otherwise, leave it to God, the ultimate Judge.”
With these words, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Uche Secondus, in a statement ventilated the frustration of his party at the Supreme Court, which on Wednesday effectively ended the ambition of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s bid to lead Nigeria.
The court in a unanimous decision threw out PDP and Atiku’s appeal against the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT).
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, leading six other members of the apex court’s panel, delivered a three-sentence judgement which nailed the coffin of the appeal by Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The CJN, said the reasons for the decision of the court would be made known on a date to be announced, adding that the panel had read all the documents and exhibits filed in the case for two weeks and found the appeal to be lacking in merit.
Waxing philosophical in his response to the judgment, Atiku said It is left to Nigerians to judge if justice was done adding that he will keep on fighting for Nigeria and for democracy, and also for justice.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), in its own reaction, applauded the apex court, cautioning the opposition party and its candidate to desist from further unpatriotic actions.
The full text of Atiku’s statement hours after the apex court’s decision reads: “It is said that the Supreme Court is not final because it is infallible, but that it is infallible because it is final. While I believe that only God is infallible everywhere, and only Nigerians are infallible in our democracy, I must accept that the judicial route I chose to take, as a democrat, has come to a conclusion.
“Whether justice was done, is left to the Nigerian people to decide. As a democrat, I fought a good fight for the Nigerian people. I will keep on fighting for Nigeria and for democracy, and also for justice.
“I thank all Nigerians who have stayed the course since the commencement of trial in the petition on the February 23 presidential election.
“The judgement is part of democratic challenges we must face as a nation.
“The Nigerian judiciary, just like every estate of our realm, has been sabotaged and undermined by an overreaching and dictatorial cabal, who have undone almost all the democratic progress the Peoples Democratic Party and its administrations nurtured for sixteen years, up until 2015.
“Can Nigeria continue like this? Recently, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, averred that Nigeria had rolled back the democratic gains she made in 2015. When democracy is rolled back, the economy, the society and the judiciary will not be far behind. Today, the nail has been put on the coffin and the gains we collectively made since 1999 are evaporating, and a requiem is at hand.
“In a democracy, you need a strong judiciary, a free press and an impartial electoral umpire. Nigeria has none of those three elements as at today.
“One man, one woman, one youth, one vote, should be the only way to make gains in a democracy. And when that is thwarted, the clock starts to tick.
“Two and a half millennia ago, Sophocles said “If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: “Thou shalt not ration justice.” Nigeria will do well to observe this warning.
“To those who think they have broken my spirit, I am sorry to disappoint you. I am too focused on Nigeria to think about myself. I gave up that luxury twenty years ago. The question is not if I am broken. The question is if Nigeria is whole?
“This is not a time for too many words. It will suffice for me to remind Nigeria of this – we are an independent nation and we are the architects of our fate. If we do not build a free Nigeria, we may end up destroying her, and God forbid that that should be the case.
“I was a democrat, I am a democrat, and I will always continue to be a democrat. May God bless Nigeria.”
In its own statement titled, “APC Hails Supreme Court’s Affirmation of President Buhari’s Election Victory,” the ruling party welcomed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the appeal, congratulating Nigerians, the President; Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; party leaders, members and supporters on the Supreme Court’s verdict.
It adds: “Following the earlier judgement of the 2019 Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which dismissed in its entirety the PDP and Atiku’s petition, the Apex Court was apt in dismissing the appeal for lacking merit.
“The Party hails the Judiciary for standing firm in the face of the PDP and Atiku’s subterfuge and for siding with the Nigerian electorate who through their votes decided to do away with PDP’s ignominious past and re-elect the President Buhari-led APC administration which has ushered in a new era of progressive growth for our country.
“With the ruling of the Supreme Court, which has finally affirmed President Buhari’s election victory, we enjoin the PDP and Atiku to jettison their destructive and disruptive agenda against Nigeria, which they have made up their minds to pursue for the next four years.
“The PDP and Atiku should not confuse opposition politics for their unpatriotic agenda. Democratic politics cannot be practiced in the state of anarchy, confusion which the PDP and Atiku wish to achieve. Such diabolic plan will definitely fail.
“Going forward, the President Buhari-led APC government will continue to focus on delivering our Next Level plans for the country.”