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Tinubu’s victory in Presidential poll sacrosanct, says Presidency

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.There is a plot to discredit February 25 poll abroad, APC-PCC raises the alarm

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The Presidency says despite alleged irregularities and harsh criticism of the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC, the results of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections still stand until otherwise proven in court.

Also, it ruled out any possibility of annulling the presidential elections as was done on June 12, 1993; advising aggrieved candidates of the opposition parties to pursue redress in court instead.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a piece highlighting key takeaways from the President’s recently-concluded trip to Doha, Qatar, where he attended the 5th United Nations summit on Least Developed Countries.

Recall that before INEC declared the All Progressives Congress Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the election, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the Labour Party, LP called for the cancellation of the exercise altogether, citing irregularities.

In a press briefing held in Abuja on Monday, February 27, the Vice Presidential candidates of PDP and LP, Ifeanyi Okowa and Yusuf Datti, respectively, demanded fresh elections nationwide saying INEC failed to transmit results electronically from the BVAS to the iREV portal immediately after collation at the Polling Units.

But the electoral umpire proceeded with the collation exercise which resulted in Tinubu securing over eight million votes to emerge as President-elect.

The governing APC and the opposing PDP and LP have since constituted their legal teams to battle in court.

According to the Presidency, however, Buhari remained reticent about INEC’s criticism by “wishful thinkers” because he had long decided not to take any decisions that would undermine the electoral process.

“President Buhari not only muted himself following the cacophony, he picked up international travel: “Bola Tinubu’s election stands. If you are aggrieved, and you have the locus to do so, go to court,”’ the statement read.

The Presidency said in the buildup to Buhari’s trip to Qatar, he was faced with orchestrated attempts to poison public opinion against national institutions, particularly the presidential election and its conduct by the Independent National Electoral Commission, as an institution, against which vile and unsubstantiated allegations were hurled.

According to Shehu, “The clear intent of this was creating an atmosphere of fear, polarising the public and demonizing the administration of the President.

“The wishful thinkers appeared to assume that the June 12, 1993 election crisis, the worst ever since the Civil War could be recreated.

“Those who sought to do this forgot what the President said at the palace of the Gbong-Gwon Jos, when he went to the city to inaugurate the Tinubu-Shettima campaign: ‘this election will not be annulled; whoever is the winner will be president.”

The presidential spokesman echoed Buhari’s several iterations to world leaders in Qatar about handing over to a new President on May 29, 2023.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the President spoke with the Iranian VP, Mohsen Mansouri, calling for continued economic cooperation with the next administration, especially in the sectors of energy, infrastructure, and culture.

Buhari also appealed to Nigerians in Qatar to support Tinubu’s government “so that Nigeria will continue to be the beacon of hope and prosperity in our continent and an example for other African countries to emulate.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Dele Alake, Special Adviser to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has described as an imposter, one Lloyd Ukwu, a United States-based Nigerian, said to be claiming to be the Executive Director of the National Democratic Coalition, NADECO.

Ukwu was said to be planning a press conference with the aim of disparaging and casting aspersions on the credibility of the 2023 Presidential Election won by Tinubu.

In a statement he issued on Thursday, Alake, said Ukwu was out to deceive unsuspecting members of the public, particularly those abroad and should be ignored.

The statement signed by Alake reads:

“Our attention has been drawn to an attempt by one, Lloyd Ukwu, a United States-based Nigerian claiming to be the Executive Director of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) to organise a press conference specifically intended to disparage and cast aspersions on the credibility of the 2023 Presidential Election freely and fairly won by the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“It must be stated emphatically and without any ambiguity that Ukwu is an impostor, hellbent on hoodwinking unsuspecting Nigerians in the diaspora and the international community to further a sinister agenda on behalf of the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, who came a distant third in the last presidential election.

“That Ukwu is attempting to fraudulently exploit the NADECO platform for Peter Obi against Asiwaju Tinubu  is so  laughable and a grave insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians, who witnessed first-hand the struggle by the pro-democracy group in restoring democratic rule to Nigeria and the roles played by prominent Nigerians, including independence hero and nationalist, Late Chief Anthony Enahoro, Asiwaju Tinubu, Professor Wole Soyinka, General Alani Ipoola Akinrinade, late Commodore Dan Suleiman, Late Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Chief Cornelius Adebayo and several other  pro-democracy activists in exile to birth the freedom from military dictatorship that Nigerians enjoy today.

“We reiterate that Ukwu was very  peripheral to  this group of eminent statesmen and illustrious Nigerians who bore the pain and peril of exile so that our country could be free from the jackboot of military dictatorship of Late General Sani Abacha.

“It is imperative to remind Ukwu and his desperate paymasters that while Asiwaju Tinubu put his life and resources on the line during those challenging times, the likes of Peter Obi were either hobnobbing with the military or nowhere to be found.

“In trying to robe himself in an unbefitting garb, Ukwu’s desperation to confer credibility on his mission by using the  NADECO name is bound to hit a dead-end and ignominy. To hide under the name of NADECO to deceive the international media and interest groups is an act that should be condemned by right thinking people.

“We are of a firm belief that Lloyd Ukwu is an agent of the Labour Party and Peter Obi, who were rejected by majority of Nigerians at the February 25 polls.

“Majority of Nigerians have spoken loud and clear that Asiwaju Tinubu is their choice to lead Nigeria from May 29, 2023. There is absolutely nothing Ukwu and his ilk can do to change this fact of history.”

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