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Don’t go to election tribunal, Agbakoba advises Atiku

Dr. Olisa Agbakoba

Dr. Olisa
Agbakoba SAN, a human rights lawyer and former President of the Nigerian Bar
Association(NBA), has advised former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, against
going to seek redress at the election petition tribunal over the 2019 Presidential Election

Abubakar ran
for the presidential position under the Peoples democratic Party and lost to
the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress.
advised that Abubakar should rather consider the greater things that lie ahead,
in spite of any loss he might have felt as a result of the election results.
“I understand
the PDP is aggrieved about the outcome of the Election and alleged massive
“But I urge
former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar not to approach the Election Petition
Tribunal.  He might have moved backwards by his loss but he should not
lose sight of the legacy and greatness that lies in front of him,” Agbakoba
He continued
that “This is not to say I do not recognize
the massive irregularities in the 2019 Presidential Election. I can see how
tempting it is to take the option of the Election Petition Tribunal but that in
my view is not the right decision.”
urged Abubakar to look forth to help build a new Nigeria as a statesman who
would drive workable ideas to benefit the nation as one.
He said: “Former
Vice President, Atiku Abubakar is in a strong position to take up the mantle of
a statesman. He can build a new Nigeria movement from the motley of small
parties, third force actors, change actors and millions who are desperate for a
strong, united Nigeria.
“There is
also a lot of work to be done in both political and electoral reforms. I
request former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar to step into the shoes.
“We look
forward to a new Nigeria, strong and united; a new Nigeria that will not vote
on the basis of ethnic and primordial sentiments.”
noted that voting patterns at the presidential election showed ethic bias,
which he described as dangerous for a nation.
He urged
Nigerians to stand up against ethnicity and embrace issue-based interests in
making their choice of leadership.
“As I said, I
was shocked at the strength of the two parties in holding their respective
bases. But the problem was that the basis was simply primordial and not driven
by issues.
Muhammadu Buhari kept his base in the North while former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar
largely held his base in the South. Both All Progressive Congress (APC) and
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) benefited from primordial voting. The excepted
zone is the South-west where voting occurred on the basis of issues. 
politics must appeal to issues and not ethnic or primordial consideration. This
is the biggest danger in the 2019 Presidential Election and we as Nigerians
must stand up to redress it,” Agbakoba said.
He warned
that unless Nigerians make a change in their voting patterns, the 2023
elections would take same shape as what was experienced in the 2019 presidential election.

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