Nigeria’s former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar says he feels confident he will be successful with his court challenge to elections that brought President Umaru Musa YarAdua to power. This comes after the former vice president hailed recent decisions of the tribunal set up to adjudicate the recent disputed tripartite elections. He said the development portends a good omen for Nigeria’s young democracy.
Through his spokesman, Shehu Garba, Abubakar also said that a tribunal decision on electoral petitions showed that politicians no longer need the military to sort out politics when things go wrong. From the capital Abuja, Garba told reporter Peter Clottey that Abubakar believes the time for military intervention is over.
“What he was saying is that, you know in the past, in the politics of our country, whenever the leaders messed things up on politics, those who’ve felt cheated always resulted to calls upon the military to come and sort things out. What he is saying is that with the kind of decisions that the tribunals are issuing, he is convinced that politicians in the country no longer needed to call on the military to come and sort out our politics,” Garba said.
Garba also underscores Abubakar’s belief the judiciary is the source of hope for the country’s democracy.
“The judiciary holds the hope for our young democracy for our people. And that, whoever, felt aggrieved over matters such as what we are dealing with should repose his own confidence in the judiciary,” he noted.
Garba said the former vice president feels confident about his court challenge of last April’s elections.
“There is absolutely no doubt about that. So far we have no reason to complain about the proceedings and what has been done so far. We’ve been able to procure material evidence as ordered by the court from the so-called Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and from all of the services that were involved in the elections. And we think that so far, so good,” Garba said.
He said Abubakar’s team feels no apprehension about a tribunal prerogative to merge Abubakar’s petition with that of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, for speedy resolution.
“No, not in the least. Initially, we felt so because we were being asked to go and join Buhari and the ANPP. And if you follow the relationship between Gen, Buhari and the ANPP, it has not been a very pleasant kind of relationship. The party had joined the PDP (ruling People’s Democratic Party) in government, but not only that, they had been seeking to undermine their candidate in all that he’s been doing. In fact, to the extent that if you would recall, the party has asked that no member of the ANPP should go and give evidence in Buhari’s case. So initially, our concern was nobody wants to invite cancer into their own body,” he pointed out.