The Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) has written to the international community to caution the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar over his decision to contest the president’s reelection in court.
Backstory: In separate letters to the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU), the BCO urged the international bodies to act fast to save the country’s democracy from what it described as Atiku’s “inequitable conduct.” It said that Atiku ought to have congratulated President Buhari instead of yielding to the politics of bitterness by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
- According to the BCO, Atiku’s decision to contest the result is “undemocratic” because he is taking “the electoral process in Nigeria backward after a peaceful and credible presidential and National Assembly elections conducted penultimate Saturday.”
- International observers acknowledged the results as free, fair and peaceful, but Atiku’s contest seeks to “discredit the entire process and make the Observation Missions look as if they are biased in their assessment of the just concluded presidential poll.”
- By contesting the result, Atiku aims to “cause distractions with a view to slowing down the wheels of governance in the country.”
- They asked the foreign actors to “intervene by calling the PDP and its presidential candidate to order and ensure that the tenets of democracy are adhered to in the ongoing electoral process in Nigeria.”
- The letter called for Atiku to follow the example of former President, Goodluck Jonathan’s while stating that “Nobody’s life should be sacrificed for any politician’s ambition.”
- “If Atiku wants to help Nigerians, he should work with the Buhari-led government for a prosperous nation. He should not set Nigeria aflame with his inordinate ambition and insatiable thirst for power.”
Bottom Line: The BCO’s argument is flawed and hypocritical. Contesting a result in court is not “undemocratic.” Neither Atiku nor the PDP have called for violence or civil disobedience. What is hypocritical is for the Buhari team to ask anyone not to protest an election result when its principal went to court after every single election he contested and lost from 2003 to 2011. At what point did the Buhari Campaign suddenly feel it is cool for foreigners to intervene in Nigeria’s democratic processes again? Was it not just a few weeks ago, in the buildup to the elections that Buhari’s team and some of his supporters including a state governor threatened violence while cautioning foreign observers not to intervene in Nigeria’s processes?