The Supreme Court has just affirmed President Muhammadu Buhari winner of the 2019 presidential election, while throwing out Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s petition challenging the outcome of the election.
For the rest of Nigeria, this is what this bit of news means:
1..It’s Buhari till 2023, people
The apex court’s decision to throw out all of Atiku’s 66-grounds of appeal means that the Katsina born Buhari, 76, will now preside over Nigeria’s affairs until another election is held to replace him in office in 2023.
Supreme Court decisions are final and the apex court is constitutionally the final arbiter on all matters.
Atiku who polled second in the February 23 election with 11,262,978 votes, has always contended that the election was rigged for incumbent President Buhari, who polled 15,191,847 votes.
Some of Atiku’s prayers were that: Buhari had lied under oath about his educational qualifications, that the president’s secondary school certificate was a forgery, that results from an ‘INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) server’ proved that the PDP candidate had won the election, that the election results were electronically transmitted to this server by INEC and that the electoral umpire blatantly manipulated the vote in favour of the incumbent president.
8 months after the vote and 5 months after Buhari was sworn-in for a second term in office, the Supreme Court has now dismissed all of Atiku’s prayers, saying they lacked merit.
The import of the judgment is that Nigerians are now stuck with Buhari for another 3 years.
Atiku won’t be coming.
2..Atiku may run again in 2023
Atiku is never tired of running for the office of President of Nigeria, no matter how many times he’s beaten.
He’s been there and done that.
The Adamawa-born politician began seeking for the highest office in the land in 1992 and ran for president at party primary and national levels in 2006, 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Atiku will be 75 when the 2023 vote comes around, about the same age as President Buhari today. The smart money would be on expecting Atiku to run again in 2023.
It’s Atiku we are talking about here after all.
3..The PDP needs to do better as an opposition party
While the trial lasted, it was way too easy to pick holes in the petition filed by Atiku and his party, PDP.
The entire server saga and the alternative results the PDP tendered from what has been termed an ‘imaginary server’, was ridiculous at best. The numbers just didn’t make sense or add up.
Months into President Buhari’s second term on the saddle, the PDP is yet to offer anything resembling a credible opposition or an opposition that should be regarded as a viable alternative.
The opposition party hardly engages, its press statements are often banal, lack-luster and bare-bone and it waits for election season to remind Nigerians that it is still around.
Not quite what the proponents of democracy envisaged when they framed the word ‘opposition’ hundreds of years ago.
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