Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has supported the decision of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
Obasanjo also congratulated the Osun PDP governorship candidate, Ademola Adeleke on his victory at the tribunal; and emphasized that Atiku must seek redress in court to reclaim his mandate.
He said if Buhari could go to court three times without reasonable cause, any Nigerian who felt denied of justice must feel free to go to court.
Obasanjo said this in a statement he personally signed, dated March 23, 2019 and titled ‘Statement by Olusegun Obasanjo on the judgment of the Osun governorship election petitions tribunal, Dubai.”
He said: “And if Buhari could go to court three times to seek justice, even without reasonable cause, any Nigerian who feels denied of justice must feel free to go to court.
“Those who have conceived and are promoting the narrative that if Atiku Abubakar continues to seek legal redress there will be violence, are evil minds looking for excuse to unleash violence on Nigerians. At no time in history has sustainable peace been built on theft, injustice, corruption and inequity.”
Obasanjo added that: “While I was in Dubai to attend the Global Education and Skills Forum meeting, I received the news of the judgment of the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal declaring Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the winner of the 2018 Governorship election in the state.
“Let me take this opportunity to commend the tribunal for its courage in nullifying what was clearly an illegality. This action by the judicial officers, albeit a first step in the legal process, gives renewed confidence in the judiciary at a time when there are coordinated efforts by some political leaders to undermine, if not destroy, it.
“As I have repeatedly said, the world is watching events in Nigeria with keen interest. What we do or do not do right in our electoral process will have implications not just for Nigeria but for Africa and indeed the world. By correcting what was clearly a desperate attempt to change the will of the Osun people, the tribunal has saved Nigeria from great embarrassment and started the process of saving and strengthening our democracy.
“Let me also commend Sen. Adeleke for his statesmanship in going to court to seek justice. This is the right and proper thing to do in any decent society. Going to court must be encouraged and not discouraged as some people are now attempting to do.”