An insight into why there has been a flurry of congratulatory messages from Nigeria’s development partners and friends for winners of recent elections even though they wrote adverse reports has been given by one of their own partner and friend, former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Speaking Saturday on the Friday’s tribunal judgment that endorsed Senator Ademola Adeleke as the winner of last yad’s Osun Governorship poll, Obasanjo said: “While I have refrained from commenting on the 2019 elections because one of the parties has gone to court., may I point out that those who call themselves our development partners and friends and preach sacrificing justice on the altar of so-called stability are enemies of justice, democracy and Nigeria.
“We will continue to sustain Nigeria in stability and unity on the altar of justice, equity, fairness, freedom, human rights and democracy.
”Stability cannot be successfully built on injustice, corruption, inequity, and divided nation, and incompetence, nepotism and one-sidedness.
“Nigeria will march forward with or without those who will want to feed us with diet of values and actions that are not acceptable in their own countries.
“Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians. We will respect as friends those who believe that what is good for their country should be good for Nigeria.
“Yes, we are Africans, but we have values that are consistent with international standards,” he said.
According to Obasanjo, the court is part of Nigeria’s democratic process and must be approached by anybody who wants to get justice.
“Court is part of our democratic process and it must be used when necessary if only to achieve justice, stability, unity and progress for our country,” he said.
Obasanjo also commended the tribunal for “its courage in nullifying what was clearly an illegality.
“This action by the judicial officers, albeit a first step in the legal process, gives renewed confidence in the judiciary at a time when there are coordinated efforts by some political leaders to undermine, if not destroy, it.
“As I have repeatedly said, the world is watching events in Nigeria with keen interest.
”What we do or do not do right in our electoral process will have implications not just for Nigeria but for Africa and indeed the world.
”By correcting what was clearly a desperate attempt to change the will of the Osun people, the tribunal has saved Nigeria from great embarrassment and started the process of saving and strengthening our democracy.”
On Adeleke, Obasanjo applauded the Election Petition Tribunal for setting aside the Osun state governorship election result by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and declaring Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the authentic winner of Friday.
He commended Adeleke for his “statesmanship in going to court to seek justice” to challenge the normally in the election.
His words: ”By correcting what was clearly a desperate attempt to change the will of the Osun people, the tribunal has saved Nigeria from great embarrassment and started the process of saving and strengthening our democracy.”
On Adeleke, he said, “This is the right and proper thing to do in any decent society.
“Going to court must be encouraged and not discouraged as some people are now attempting to do”.