In spite of the alleged irregularities and harsh criticism of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Presidency has said the results of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections still stand until otherwise proven in court.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, revealed this in a piece chronicling key takeaways from the President’s recently-concluded trip to Doha, Qatar.
The Presidency also ruled out the possibility of annulling the presidential elections as was done on June 12, 1993. Aggrieved candidates of the opposition parties were therefore advised to seek redress in court.
Long before the declaration of All Progressives Congress’ Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the election by the INEC, the opposing Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party called for the cancellation of the exercise altogether, citing irregularities.
It would be recalled that in a press conference held in Abuja on Monday, February 27, the Vice Presidential candidates of PDP, Ifeanyi Okowa and LP, Yusuf Datti demanded fresh elections nationwide saying INEC failed to transmit results electronically from the BIVAS to the iREV portal immediately after collation at the Polling Units.
The Presidency stated that President Buhari remained reticent about INEC’s criticism because he had long decided not to take any decisions that would undermine the electoral process.
“President Buhari not only muted himself following the cacophony, he picked up international travel: “Bola Tinubu’s election stands. If you are aggrieved, and you have the locus to do so, go to court,”’ the statement read.
According to Shehu, “The wishful thinkers appeared to assume that the June 12, 1993 election crisis, which happened to be the worst ever since the Civil War could be recreated.”
“Those who sought to do this forgot what the President said at the palace of the Gbong-Gwon Jos, when he went to the city to inaugurate the Tinubu-Shettima campaign: ‘this election will not be annulled; whoever is the winner will be president.”
The presidential spokesman echoed Buhari’s several iterations to world leaders in Qatar about handing over to a new President on May 29, 2023.