The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said the victory recorded by President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was fraught with irregularitiesand would therefore be challenged in court.
The party’s National Chairman, AdamuMu’azu, gave the hint in a statement he personally signed in reaction to the presidential election results in which the ruling party was declared the loser.
Mu’azu, however, congratulated Buhari over the victory urging him to be fair and firm in his leadership of the country.
Expressing doubts about the election results, he said: “At present, our nation is at the threshold of history and its defining moment for the future. As you are aware, in the early hours of Wednesday, April 1, 2015, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returned the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, as winner of the 2015 presidential election.
“However, we have received reports of serious irregularities that characterised the conduct of the election and we shall channel our protests to the appropriate quarters in line with our profound respect for the rule of law and democratic ethos.”
If the courts uphold the results of the elections, Mu’azu said it would be accepted in totality.
“Our party comes with great values and tradition and we will adhere to them and ensure that nothing is done to truncate our democracy, which we have proudly worked so hard to nurture and sustain to maturity.
“Therefore, if the outcome of the election is truly the reflection of the wishes and aspirations of our citizens, the PDP will most willingly respect that wish.
“What is paramount to us is the survival of our democracy, the unity, peace and progress of our dear nation and the happiness of all our people.
“Nigeria is bigger than any political party, individual or group and her overall interest must be our priority at all times,” he said.
He described the PDP as a party that has done well for the country and should be appreciated for its efforts.
“Sixteen years ago, Nigerians gave our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the mandate to build, nurture and deepen democracy after three decades of military rule in our country.
“That historic mandate was freely given in recognition of the courageous and patriotic role of the founding fathers of our party whose resilience and doggedness championed the return of democracy and the personal freedom we all enjoy today.
“Within this period, our party worked very hard in rebuilding and strengthening democratic institutions, tenets and norms while lifting our status as the leading democracy in Africa and one of the best in the world,” he stated.
“It is in this light that we as a party commend our flag bearer, President Goodluck Jonathan for his heroic act in conceding to the voice of the people, an action that stands him out as a true democrat and a statesman,” he further stated.
In accepting Buhari as the next president of the nation, Mu’azu congratulated him and also the voting populace who voted for him.
“We also congratulate the APC flag bearer, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari for his resilience and victory in this election while wishing him success in the onerous task of leading our nation once again.
“On the same note, we wish to also commend the electorate for the peaceful manner with which they conducted themselves in the course of this election,”Mu’azu stated.
He expressed confidence that the PDP would rise again, in spite of the defeat suffered at the presidential election.
“Finally, we call on our party faithful to remain steadfast in our renewed effort to deliver our flag bearers in the remaining elections,” he said.
In the same vein, the PDP in Benue State said the party would continue to reinvent itself despite the setback it encountered during the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.
The party also noted that actions of President Jonathanwould make him a permanent fixture on Nigeria’s political consciousness.
Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam,spoke in Makurdi on Thursday while commending the President for his rare display of “uncommon statesmanship by conceding defeat in the just-concluded presidential election.”
He observed that “although, the election was marred by irregularities, the president has been humble enough to accept defeat,” describing it as “something novel in the political history of Nigeria and worthy of emulation by well-meaning politicians across board.”
Suswam commended the PDP “for putting up a good fight in their bid to re-elect President Jonathan,” adding that “PDP as a party will continue to work hard in spite of the setback to re-invent itself in the months to come.
Describing Buhari’s victory as “the will of God,” Suswam stressed that his election was “to ensure that peace endures in Nigeria against the predictions of doom by scare-mongers.
Similarly, the League of Voters in Nigeria (LVN) has called on African leaders to emulate, the display of maturity by President Jonathan and that of the APC presidential candidate, Buhari.
In a statement issued and signed by the group’s National Co-ordinator, BemKokoiwen, in Makurdi on Thursday, the group applauded the rare courage and humility exhibited by President Jonathan “who lost at the polls.”
He noted that this rare quality as exemplified by Jonathan “went a long way in calming down the tension that was generated during the collation and declaration of election results.”
Similarly, the PDP governorship candidate for Lagos State, JimiAgbaje, praised President Jonathan and President-elect, Buhari, for displaying true sportsmanship and statesmanship in the presidential election.
Agbaje also commended Lagosians for voting massively for PDP in the presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives elections.
In a statement by his Director of Media and Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, Agbaje also commended President Jonathan for placing the nation ahead of personal and party interests by conceding defeat to Buhari.
He said the two had shown themselves as true nationalists.
Agbaje described President Jonathan as a man of history, being not only the first incumbent leader to concede defeat to the opposition, but one of the few African leaders who did not have the sit-tight or do-or-die attitude to politics.
Congratulating Buhari and the APC, Agbajeprayed that their reign would usher in peace and prosperity to every part of Nigeria
Agbaje also congratulated Federal legislators emerging from the elections, saying, they must remember that they owe their victory to the people and they should be ready to serve the electorate.
He urged Lagosians to hold firmly to their resolve to produce change at the April 11 governorship and state house of assembly polls.
He also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to solve the several headaches that bedevilled the polls, including, lateness of polling staff at duty posts, malfunctioning Card Readers and the unholy alliance between officials and APC.