By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
A group, Better Nigeria Group (BNG), has backed the decision by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to challenge the declaration of Muhammadu Buhari as duly elected in the recently concluded presidential election.
The group said that the nation’s democracy would be endangered if the brazen impunity should be allowed to stand unchallenged.
The convener of the group, Mr. Dickson Iroegbu, while addressing a press conference Tuesday in Abuja, described the spate of deliberate irregularities aimed at tilting the results toward the incumbent and the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, and the subsequent declaration of victory for same candidate as an assault on democracy.
The group also condemned those prevailing on Atiku to perish the thought of going to court in the interest of peace, saying there can be no peace without justice.
Iroegbu stressed that its resolve to pledge support to Atiku’s quest to seek legal redress was because the outcome of the presidential election which took place, on the 23rd February 2019, did not reflect the choice and the mandate of Nigerians.
He stated; “We wish to support the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to immediately resort to approach the court for redress as this strengthens our democracy, in a bid to claim the mandate which the people overwhelmingly gave to him through the ballot box.
“We frown seriously at the perceived contemplation that going to court means reneging on the peace accord, for we understand that the courts are a part of a democratic process and reaching out to them for perceived grievances, does not in any way mean war.
“It is important that the PDP candidate realises and consistently keeps in his memory, that it is not about him but those who have given him the mandate. While we understand that he may be under tremendous pressure not to approach the court, we want to remind him that anything short of that shall be tantamount to abandonment of the people’s mandate and shall be a huge disappointment.”
“The electoral process is the beacon of democracy and remains so. Elections must not only be credible, but must be seen as credible. The sham of an election which took place on the said date and the subsequent declaration leaves so much to wonder about credibility.”
The group stressed that the death of innocent citizens who had set out to perform their basic civic responsibility in the hands of agents of government, whose primary responsibility is to protect them, was highly condemnable.