Kukah hails presidential candidates for abiding by peace accord
Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah has commended all the presidential candidates for abiding by the principles of of the National Peace Accord signed ahead of the February 25th presidential elections.
Kukah made this known while speaking in an interview on Arise Television on Friday.
According to him, “As a convener of the National Peace Committee, we watched diligently to see that the principles enunciated in the signing of the Peace Accord are implemented.
“Let me commend the key political actors because, despite where we find ourselves now, on balance Nigerians must agree that the presidential candidates did conduct themselves in a manner and in a way that brought a lot of respect to politics and the political processes.
“They deserve our commendation because we didn’t experience the usual recriminations and so on and so forth,” Kukah said.
However,, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party, counterpart, Peter Obi, have rejected the outcome of the February 25 presidential election, vowing to approach court to recover their mandate.
According to Vanguard, the two candidates refuse to accept the peace call of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu,who in his acceptance speech after he was declared the winner on Wednesday, called on them to support him in building Nigeria.
Atiku and Obi addressed the media at separate news conferences in Abuja on Thursday.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Tinubu as the President-elect after the former Senator polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest rivals, Atiku and Obi who scored 6,984,520 and 6,101, votes, respectively.
While speaking after Tinubu was declared the winner of the presidential election, Obi argued that he won the election and he was ready to prove it.
He noted that the election in which Tinubu was declared victorious was controversial and programmed to deliver pre-determined results.
He stressed that the election did not meet the electoral demands and could not be deemed credible, arguing that Nigerians were denied their wishes and aspirations, saying he was ready to challenge the results till he proved his argument in court.
According to Obi, “The election that we just witnessed had been conducted and the results announced as programmed. It is a clear deviation from electoral rules and guidelines contrary to what we were promised.
“This election did not meet the minimum standard expected of a free, fair, transparent and credible election. It will go down as one of the most controversial elections ever conducted in Nigeria.
“The good and hardworking people of Nigeria have again been robbed by our supposed leaders whom they trusted,” he said.
Atiku who also addressed journalists on Thursday alleged the electoral commission of shattering the dreams and aspirations of Nigerians it compromised the conduct of the polls.
“Having consulted with leaders of our party who are seated here with me and Nigerians from different walks of life, I have concluded that the processes and outcome of the presidential and national elections on Saturday were grossly flawed by every single material and as such, must be challenged by all of us,” he declared.
Atiku stated further that the presidential election presented Nigeria and Nigerians an opportunity for a reset but claimed that INEC “failed woefully.”
Atiku said INEC’s failure was attested to by both local and international observers.
He wondered why the commission was in a haste to declare the result of the election, calling the process “a rape of democracy.”
This, he noted, was not the legacy the Muhammed Buhari-led regime wished to leave behind for Nigerians, saying that it is not late for Buhari to make a amend.
He noted that the poll was not about him but about the future of the Nigerian youths, Atiku, however, urged the youths to conduct themselves well.
Reacting Obi claims by the Director of Media and Publicity for the APC presidential campaign council, Bayo Onanuga, said the president-elect was ready to engage the LP standard bearer if he had concrete evidence to prove he won the election.
Onanuga, in a statement titled, ‘We will meet Mr Peter Obi in court,’ stated that in an election where Obi emerged third, he found his allegation of fraud ‘very weird.’
He stated that the LP candidate, like every Nigerian, has the right to approach court if he was convinced his team had evidence of the electoral fraud to present before the tribunal.
Onanuga said, “We welcome the decision of Mr Obi to seek redress in court as an aggrieved party if he is convinced of the evidence of electoral frauds he will present before the tribunal as alleged.”