According to Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesperson, the election of Bola Tinubu is valid and can only be invalidated through a court ruling. Shehu made this statement while summarizing President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent trip to Qatar, stating that some people are hoping for the election to be nullified in order to recreate the political crisis of the June 12, 1993 election.
In 1993, Moshood Abiola, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential candidate, was believed to have won the election, but former military head of state Ibrahim Babangida annulled the results. This led to a nationwide protest that eventually forced Babangida to step down and hand over power to Ernest Shonekan as the head of an interim national government. However, a few weeks later, Sani Abacha, the former head of state, staged a coup, resulting in the return of military rule in Nigeria.
Shehu said Buhari had promised that the February 25 presidential election will not be annulled regardless of the winner.
While addressing Nigerians in Qatar, Buhari was said to have called for support for Tinubu “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”.
“In addition to other things, this trip, more than any other, speaks to the courage, political stamina, and statesmanship with which the President has managed the affairs of the nation,” Shehu said.
“In the buildup to the trip, 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, INEC as an institution, against which vile and unsubstantiated allegations were hurled.
“The clear intent of this was creating an atmosphere of fear, polarizing 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’.
“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’.
“Whenever the President travels abroad, he meets world leaders but doesn’t miss the opportunity to talk to our citizens there, who proudly tells him about the achievements of the Nigerian community settled in those countries.”
Shehu said Buhari’s trip to Qatar is “yet another successful outing by the president and it will be on record as such”.
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