ABUJA—Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation has advised those urging the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to put the outcome of the 2019 election behind him not to forget that democracy grants him the liberty to exhaust the legal option in his pursuit of justice. Spokesman of the organisation, Segun Sowunmi, stated this, yesterday, in Abuja during a media parley.
According to him, it is too early to ask Atiku to withdraw his case because those asking him to prepare to test the waters again in 2023 do not know how “emotionally and financially draining” the presidential contest is.
He said: “Men must be fearful of playing God, for God will be eternal and omnipotent, omnipresent and he is the absolute ruler over the affairs of men. We are yet to bury the carcass of 2019, so it is too early to start to speculate about 2023. “In any case, what is important is that democracy is not a relay race where you take a baton and give it to the next person; it is not run, I will run after you, chop-I-chop kind of thing.
Democracy imagines that minimally there will be at least two or more point of views that would be running per time and then the people have the choice option. “If the people go through a dignified process and the credibility or otherwise of the process is not in doubt, then whoever it is that loses in that election must be very proud of himself for he would have done the job of opposition and even if the other man gets to carry it, you still retain with yourself a significant level of goodwill and space to be an alternative voice on all issues.”
According to him, Atiku will continue to put the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government on its toes.
He stressed that rather than keep sealed lips in the face of “governance deficit, the former vice president would continuously draw the attention of Nigerians to alternative policy directions and required institutional reforms to take Nigeria to a higher level of greatness.
“Atiku is not going to be silenced whatever the outcome of the petition. We are going to be bringing forward alternative viewpoints, even on policies, ideas and directions and the reason is that democracy is supposed to be like that.
‘’Democracy does not imagine that once one man is declared winner, the opposition goes to sleep. It doesn’t work like that anywhere, whether in the parliamentary or presidential system,” he added.
On whether Atiku would consider throwing his hat in the ring again, Sowumni said: “You cannot preempt the judiciary.
There are no otherwise in the affairs of the judiciary; they are going to do what is professionally expected of them to do. ‘’I have heard some very strong and responsible stakeholders say to Atiku ‘don’t give up, be courageous, your ideas are good’ but they are not mindful of how draining this process is financially and emotionally, psychologically and all of that. ‘’I trust Atiku Abubakar.
If he takes a decision, he will tell me and until he tells me what he is going to do, I will just say that we are still trying to retrieve our stolen mandate and by the grace of God, we believe that the stolen mandate will be retrieved.” He called on well-meaning Nigerians to join the discourse aimed at birthing a paradigm shift in democratic governance in the land.