Congratulatory messages have started pouring in from leaders of the All Progressives Congress for President Muhammadu Buhari and the party following the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal ruling on Wednesday.
The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had approached the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja seeking the nullification of the victory of Buhari in the Feb. 23, 2019.
But delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Mohammed Garuba dismissed all the grounds of the petition, declaring the president duly elected and “eminently qualified” to stand for the election.
All the four other judges also agreed with the lead judgment in dismissing all the five grounds of the petition.
Meanwhile, some party leaders who have congratulated the party and President Buhari include: the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives and his Deputy, Femi Gbajabiamila and Ahmed Wase respectively and the immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Tinubu, in a statement by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, titled “President Election Tribunal Verdict, Justice Served, Democracy Saved,” Asiwaju Tinubu said, the tribunal verdict was a resounding judicial vindication of President Buhari’s personal character and his electoral victory.
The statement read in part: “I congratulate President Buhari for this resounding judicial vindication of his personal character and of his electoral victory. I know Mr. President as a magnanimous person who will reach out his hand in friendship to Atiku in the spirit of reconciliation, national tranquility and progress. We may disagree and argue as brothers but never as enemies who cannot resolve whatever difference that has come between us.
“The next step lies with Atiku. He can decide to continue with these claims or he can take the more prudent approach by accepting the expressed will of the people and placing his ample talents in the service of the nation in his private capacity.
“In the meantime, this day shall stand as a proud day for Nigeria, a day when the rule of law stood in full support of democratic elections and of the sovereignty of the Nigerian people to select the leaders of their choice”.
Also, Lawan, in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, said, “The judgment of the tribunal has again put a judicial seal on the mandate freely given to the president by the Nigerian people in the February 23 presidential election.”
On his part, Gbajabiamila said: “I am elated to congratulate the President on his victory at the tribunal. Ab initio, I had no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the President would come out victorious, considering the massive support Nigerians gave the President before and during the February 23 Presidential Election.
“May I also congratulate the Nigerian Judiciary for living up to expectations by doing the right thing. With this judgement, a precedent has been set for electoral matters in the country,” the Speaker said.
In a similar vein, Wase, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Muhammad Puma, said: “It is victory for democracy, victory for the rule of law, victory for the APC, victory for majority of Nigerians who voted massively for President Buhari, but most importantly, victory for the truth, which will always be constant.
“The ruling has also vindicated the position of our party, the APC that the Presidential Election conducted on February 23, 2019 was transparent, free and credible and that majority of Nigerians preferred President Muhammadu Buhari over and above the candidate of the PDP; and indeed voted massively for the candidate of their choice.
Former governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, in a statement by his media aide, Habib Aruna, said the ruling by the tribunal was a validation of the second term mandate of the people given to President Buhari to continue the strides of development and to take Nigeria to the next level.
“I join millions of Nigerians, the leadership of our great party and all members of our party across the nation to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari on this well-deserved victory at the Tribunal. This victory is a validation of confidence in the President’s re-election and a testament to the fact that the people are happy with the progress made by his administration and are keen to see four more years of progressive governance,” he said.