Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday slammed those opposing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar’s move to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at tribunal, saying Buhari, went to court three times “without reasonable cause.”
Obasanjo who broke his silence on the 2019 presidential polls, described those against Atiku’s bid as “evil minds looking for excuse to unleash violence on Nigeria.”
In a statement personally signed and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta by his Media Aide, Obasanjo, who had kept mute, hinged his reaction on the judgment of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal, which declared Senator Ademola Adeleke of the PDP, winner of last year’s gubernatorial polls.
The former president maintained that seeking justice at the tribunal like Adeleke and Atiku did should never be discouraged, adding that justice must not be sacrificed “on the altar of sustaining Nigeria’s stability.”
He further argued that the stability of Nigeria “cannot be successfully built on injustice, corruption, inequity, and divided nation, and incompetence, nepotism and one-sidedness.”
Obasanjo, who described the Osun State election as clear illegality, said ‘‘the tribunal has saved Nigeria from great embarrassment and started the process of saving and strengthening our democracy’’.
He said, “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.
“While I have refrained from commenting on the 2019 elections because one of the parties has gone to court, may I point out that those who call themselves our development partners and friends and preach sacrificing justice on the altar of so-called stability are enemies of justice, democracy and Nigeria. We will continue to sustain Nigeria in stability and unity on the altar of justice, equity, fairness, freedom, human rights and democracy. Stability cannot be successfully built on injustice, corruption, inequity, and divided nation, and incompetence, nepotism and one-sidedness.
“Nigeria will march forward with or without those who will want to feed us with diet of values and actions that are not acceptable in their own countries. Nigeria is of age. 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. These merchants of chaos and violence should have no place in any decent society. And they must know that no intimidation or prophesy of violence and doomsday will cow anybody. Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians.
“We will respect as friends those who believe that what is good for their country should be good for Nigeria. Yes, we are Africans but we have values that are consistent with international standards. Court is part of our democratic process and it must be used when necessary if only to achieve justice, stability, unity and progress for our country.”
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