By Uche Mbah
There appears to be palpable tension in the Presidency with allegations that the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, is poised to go to Court to stop Buhari’s inauguration on May 29.
It will be recalled that there was a court order preventing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from completing the announcement of the remaining results in Bauchi State. In the already announced results, the PDP was said to be in the lead. The state Resident Electoral Commission, Ibrahim Abdullahi, had suspended the collation of the results in obedience to an Abuja Court order that ruled that the collation of the results must be halted.
The order was an ex parte order-meaning the order was given based on application of one party in the absence of the other party-at the instance of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and it’s Governorship candidate, Governor Mohammed Abubakar. They allege that the cancelled results in Tafawa Balewa was more than the margin of victory by the PDP, and thereby sought suspension of the announcement.
Indications are that INEC got a counter order and the collation has been finished, giving the PDP the victory.
But in the thick of the imbroglio, PDP rejected the Court order calling it unconstitutional, hinting on the possibility of their filing a motion to stop the inauguration of President Buhari on May 29 later in the year. They also threatened to stop governors from being sworn in.
Since that announcement, this Magazine learnt, serious legal consultation has been going on within the presidency. This was coming on the heels of the PDP filing a case against President Buhari, asking the court to either declare Atiku winner of the elections or, in the alternative, cancel the elections and order a rerun. The PDP has also released what they called the authentic result extracted from INEC back server, where Atiku Allegedly won Buhari by over a million votes.
Festus Keyamo, the spokesperson for Buhari campaign team, had described the threat by PDP as “Unserious”.
“We challenge them to go to court. Buhari is the sitting president. He will continue in office till when they want him to be sworn-in. Let them go to court. We shall meet there”, he said.But beyond the verbal missiles,there appears to be a more concerted efforts by the presidency to stop Atiku’s Court actions. Sources indicate that they have not relented in their efforts to use various groups to prevail on him to soft pedal on the court cases. This was confirmed by Buba Galadima, who spoke on Channels television, alleging that people close to Atiku are being paid heavily to try to convince him to jettison the court cases.
Meanwhile, Atiku has been meeting with Southern and middle belt leaders assuring them that he is on his way to reclaiming his “stolen Mandate.”
The meeting, held at the Abuja residence of Edwin Clark, an Ijaw leader, had Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Yinka Odumakin, Chief Femi Okurounmu and Chief John Nwodo in attendance. “We believe this is a mandate that has been stolen from Nigerians. We believe justice will be done. We still have confidence in our courts of law. The most important thing is that we have been able to galvanize the people of this country to think alike and act alike in unity” ,Atiku told them. “We have also come to realize and accept that the basis of our unity and coexistence lies fundamentally in restructuring this country so that every part of this country can have a sense of belonging and also have the opportunity to exploit their human and material resources for the development of the citizens.
“I believe this is a struggle we must continue together until we achieve it. I believe it is achievable. Nigerians have nothing to fear about restructuring of this country. We know how the military brought a unitary federation,” he concluded.