Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

The presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and former Vice President of the country, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed confidence that the judiciary will restore what he termed his “stolen mandate”.

He stated this on Wednesday when he paid a courtesy on Southern Middle-belt leaders, at the Abuja residence of the former Federal Commissioner for Information and South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had announced the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate and incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the February 23rd 2019 Presidential election. Buhari defeated the PDP presidential candidate, Abubakar, with over 15,191,847 votes, winning in 19 of the 36 states.

Abubakar, however, filed a petition at the tribunal on Monday, challenging the validity of the election in which Buhari was returned for a second term. Abubakar while thanking the leaders for the support, informed them that he has filed his petition, saying: “this is a mandate that has been stolen from Nigerians. We believe justice would be done at the end of the day.” He reassured the elders that he will keep his promise on restructuring, so that every region would have a sense of belonging. He said: “I believe this is a struggle we must continue together and I believe it is achievable.

Nigeria has nothing to fear about restructuring. “Its my pleasure to be with you today and I want to use the opportunity to thank you for your support before, during and after the elections. “As I had announced earlier, I have rejected the result of the election. As announced earlier, we have filed our petition before the tribunal or the courts because we believe this is a mandate that has been stolen from the Nigerian people.

And I believe that the courts will do justice in this case. “We still have confidence in our courts and we believe justice will be done. “But the most important thing here is that between ourselves, we have been able to galvanize the people of this country to think alike and in unity. “Of course, we have also come to realize and accept that the basis of our unity, our coexistence lies fundamentally on restructuring this country so that every part of this country can have a sense of belonging and Laos have opportunity to exploit their human and materiel resources for the development of the citizens while remaining in the same country.

“I therefore believe this struggle is a struggle that we must continue together and we will achieve it and I believe it is also achievable. “I strongly commit myself to that and Nigerians don’t have anything to fear or dread about restructuring of this country.

After all, we started as a restructured federation and everybody felt at home with that arrangement. “Of course, over the years, we all know how the military has virtually brought a unitary federation.

“Therefore, I want to thank you very much indeed for your support. The results we have achieved, particularly myself and the party I represent would not have been possible without your support across the country.”

In his remarks, Clark commended the PDP presidential candidate for going to court, assuring that the elders were behind him. He said: “Your Excellency, our president in waiting, because the struggle continues, on behalf of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders and Elders and the entire people of these areas, we welcome you to our gathering. “It shows that we are still together. We want to assure you that we will always be with you.

“We are happy that you are in court, you have already filed your papers, it’s not a question of saying am going to court. We are behind you. And by the grace of God, we will achieve what we are struggling for.

“When I said that our struggle continues, what did I mean? That the restructuring of Nigeria is irreversible. No matter whatever method you use, we will continue to be with the promoter of restructuring of Nigeria until “We want restructuring. No restructuring, it will be difficult together. “

The elders comprising of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Ohanaeze Ndigbo, an apex Igbo socio-cultural group in Nigeria, Afenifere, a socio-cultural organization for the Yoruba race and Middle Belt Forum (MBF), had adopted Atiku two weeks to the election at the Summit of Nigerian Leaders and Elders with the theme, “Elections: The Search for Credible Free and Elections,” jointly chaired by Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) Clark, and Professor Ango Abdullahi, the Convener of Northern Elders.

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