Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has faulted the supreme court judgement trashing his appeal against President Muhammadu Buhari’s election victory.
Reacting to the judgement on Wednesday, Atiku said the judiciary has been sabotaged “like every estate of our realm”.
Like the presidential election petition tribunal, the panel held that there was nothing to prove Atiku’s argument that Buhari was not qualified to contest in the last election.
But in a statement shortly after the ruling, the former vice-president cried foul over the judgement and accused the “cabal” of disrupting Nigeria’s democratic progress.
“The Nigerian judiciary, just like every estate of our realm, has been sabotaged and undermined by an overreaching and dictatorial cabal, who have undone almost all the democratic progress the Peoples Democratic Party and its administrations nurtured for sixteen years, up until 2015,” he said.
“Can Nigeria continue like this? Recently, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, averred that Nigeria had rolled back the democratic gains she made in 2015. When democracy is rolled back, the economy, the society and the judiciary will not be far behind.
“Today, the nail has been put on the coffin and the gains we collectively made since 1999 are evaporating, and a requiem is at hand.”
He said a democracy should constitute a strong judiciary, a free press and an impartial electoral umpire, adding that “Nigeria has none of those three elements as at today”.
Atiku added that he will keep on “fighting for Nigeria and for democracy, and also for justice”.
“To those who think they have broken my spirit, I am sorry to disappoint you,” he said.
“I am too focused on Nigeria to think about myself. I gave up that luxury twenty years ago. The question is not if I am broken. The question is if Nigeria is whole?
“This is not a time for too many words. It will suffice for me to remind Nigeria of this – we are an independent nation and we are the architects of our fate. If we do not build a free Nigeria, we may end up destroying her, and God forbid that that should be the case.”