The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25, 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, has voiced his disapproval of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) prediction that the presidential election petition tribunal would not overturn the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In a statement released by Atiku’s media aide, Paul Ibe, the former vice president expressed his disappointment with the EIU’s report, labeling it an “embarrassment to the think tank body.”
The EIU had previously projected President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election and stated in its latest report that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, would become a formidable force in 2027.
President Bola Tinubu, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, was declared the winner of the last presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He secured a total of 8,794,726 votes, defeating 17 other candidates in the race.
However, Atiku expressed his suspicion regarding the EIU’s report, accusing it of being influenced by the ruling APC to defend the legitimacy of the February 25 election, which, according to him, only maintained the ruling party in power.
Despite the numerous issues raised about the credibility of the election by local and foreign observers, Atiku criticized the EIU for engaging in what he termed “ballot laundering” for the ruling party in Nigeria, the most populous black country.
While Atiku showed restraint in his response, he warned the EIU to respect Nigeria’s democracy and the judiciary in future reports and to exercise more caution before publishing biased reports about the country.
In addressing the APC, Atiku used a local proverb to caution them against seeking legitimacy through questionable means, stating that a government that resorts to purchasing legitimacy raises doubts among the people.
He also criticized President Tinubu’s legal team for not fully utilizing the opportunity to present their case of legitimacy before the election petition tribunal and instead focusing on counter motions regarding personal information.
Atiku asserted that any actions taken outside the legal framework that attempt to influence the outcome of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal are a breach of due process.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; firstname.lastname@example.org; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)