The judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal striking out the petition of the PDP and its candidate in the 2019 presidential elections, Atiku Abubakar, and affirming the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the polls is one that we did not see as unexpected, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Investment Programmes Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed has said.
Ahmed who is also a member of the APC Board of Trustees and a Director in the 2019 Buhari Presidential Campaign Council said this in a statement delivered to journalists adding that although he recognizes the right of the former Vice President to challenge the victory in court, he truly believes that in the spirit of building a fractured nation, the resources and time could have been well spent on focusing in the agenda of moving the country forward.
“A genuine electoral mandate was given to us in February that truly reflected the mood and political reality in the country. We didn’t win in any state that we didn’t have a strong wind going into the elections. As a matter of fact we lost in states that we could have won if we were to do what PDP was used to doing during elections. We wouldn’t have lost Abuja, or Oyo or Imo or Edo where we had APC governors and a federal government.
“This was an extremely fair contest with results that reflect the mood of the country at the time and we won squarely as the courts have affirmed today. No one in this country can contest President Buhari’s appeal and popular support. Many Nigerians do not just love President Buhari because he is loveable, but they cherish the qualities and charisma he brings to the table. He is a man of determination, he has an unassailable public profile that speaks humility and integrity, he is focused and has Nigeria’s interests at heart.
“President Buhari is a patriot. His sacrifices and commitments to this country are a matter of public knowledge and record. So it is not surprising to see that Nigerians went to the polls to vote him overwhelmingly. I was confident of our victory from the start and I was also confident that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal would only affirm this victory, ” he said.
Ismaeel Ahmed went further to state that the issue the PDP brought to the table were not solid and could hold no grounds in the courts of law.
“I reviewed the submissions their lawyers brought before the courts, and even on face value they lacked evidentiary substance. I believe the entire case was just an attempt to smear the President and attack the credibility of his well-earned victory. It wasn’t much else. No serious evidence was brought to prove the case.
“Attacking the certification of a former Head of State, Military General and a presidential candidate who contested against PDP severally to be challenged about a school leaving certificate onlyafter he had won is just an attempt at ridicule and that’s why it’s painful. It wasn’t a case of elections and law, it was almost a personalized attack on an outstanding public servant. They called governance and helping poor traders through micro-credit loans ‘vote-buying’; all these were struck out by the tribunal,” he added.
Barrister Ismaeel also noted that now that the President’s victory had been affirmed, the next task before the government, which he plays a critical role as one of the managers of the Social Investment Programmes, was to deliver on the promises the party had made during the elections.
He further noted that the government would focus on ensuring that it continues to lay a solid foundation for the sustainable development of the country.
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