Amotekun: Atiku Supports Community, State And Zonal Policing

Supreme Court To Hear Atiku's Appeal August 20
A file photo of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

 

As enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, the primary responsibility of government, at any level, is the protection of lives and property of the citizen, says PDP chieftain Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. 

According to the former Vice President, it is in carrying out this function that the state employs different layers of measures to ensure effective and efficient policing.

In a statement on Sunday, the presidential candidate of the PDP in the last election said that it is without doubt that in the past decade particularly, the current policing administration in the country had been stretched to its limits, adding that it is obvious that the reality of the nation’s domestic security upheaval will demand that the people recalibrate the police systems.

Mr Atiku in explaining further noted that in the First Republic before things gravitated too much to the center, policing was done federally with each native authority and region having some mechanisms to deal with little upsets that were the security concerns of those times.

He added that in present-day Nigeria, there is hardly any state of the federation that does not contend with some type of security challenges.

The elder statesman argued that because the nation’s security challenges are diverse in forms and impacts, it is thus incumbent that centrally controlled police architecture cannot exclusively deal with those challenges.

READ ALSO: ‘Reverse This Injustice Now’ – PDP Members Troop To Streets Across Nigeria

Atiku stressed that consequently, there is a need for the creation of additional policing structures in the country to address the rapidly growing challenges of insecurity and crime.

“The time is ripe to seriously confront the reality of insecurity in the country by addressing the urgency of introducing state police, zonal police and community policing to complement the efforts of the current federal police.

“It is obvious that current levels of insecurity in the country are giving rise to major initiatives such as Amotekun and the issue need not be controversial in the first place.

“The police are likely to be more effective if they constantly operate in the same local community or local government because such closeness might create a bond with the local people, thereby enabling community cooperation and participation that would engender proactive outcomes in crime prevention,” Atiku stated.

He also said that Nigeria is a vast country facing enormous security challenges and, therefore, there is an urgent need to create more security structures at the local levels to reduce the burden on the federal police.

Sounding a note of warning, Atiku said that the issue of security should not be politicised and monopolised in the face of current alarming security challenges characterised by the fear of even travelling on our highways by the citizens who might be intercepted by kidnappers and taken hostage for ransom.

He argued that local policing shouldn’t be mistaken for an effort to hijack the role of the federal police or competition with the federal government.

According to the PDP henchman, the obvious inadequacies of the federal police to effectively deal with the rapidly growing security challenges make local policing not only desirable but also necessary.

“The police are more likely to be effective in areas where they are well known and trusted by the local communities who in turn are willing to share information about known criminals and criminal activities, thereby foiling those crimes before they are even carried out.

“It is a given perception that when people have a role in their own security, they are going to help to defeat the criminal in their tracks and that the more they are involved, the more likely they would perceive the police as their friends.

“In the envisage new order, states and local governments shouldn’t be reduced to peripheral players in policing and security matters. When local police structures are closest to the grassroots, emergency response will be more effective than the current unwieldy chain of command that renders local government chairmen ineffective when their people are under attacks,” Atiku stated.

He was of the opinion that it is refusing to adopt new ways of doing things that poses a threat to the unity of the country.

Atiku noted that he supports Community, State, and Zonal Police to complement Federal Police to deal with insecurity in the country, stressing that it has never been this bad to the extent of threatening the unity of the country.

Sowore: Never In Nigerian Democracy Has A Judge Been Treated With Such Disdain – Atiku

 

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Friday said the invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to arrest Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore was a rape of the sanctity of the court.

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last election said the act is unacceptable, stressing that Nigeria is not a dictatorship.

Atiku said he was in extreme anguish of spirit having watched the unfortunate drama that played itself out at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

He said it was sad that the agents of the state could cause a commotion in court in order to frustrate the judgment of a competent court.

READ ALSO: Sowore’s Rearrest: ‘This Has Never Happened Before’, Falana Slams DSS

According to the elder statesman, never in the history of Nigerian democracy has a judge been treated in such a disdainful and brazen attack on not just her person and office, but on the entire judiciary.

“This is unacceptable. It is a rape on the sanctity of the court. Nigeria is not a dictatorship. We are a democracy, no matter how inconvenient this fact is to the powers that have forced themselves on us,” Atiku said.

He called for an immediate inquiry to be set up to identify those responsible for the maltreatment meted out to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and the desecration of her court, and indeed the Nigerian judiciary.

“They must be sanctioned to the highest extent permissible by our laws.”

He further called for all law enforcement agencies in Nigeria to immediately respect not just the court order made by Justice Ojukwu, but the order of any court in Nigeria, on any detainee, be it Omoyele Sowore, Sambo Dasuki or Ibrahim Zakzaky, among others.

Atiku said the nation cannot have a situation where its government is quick to obey foreign court orders and even quicker to disobey domestic court orders, adding that this is symptomatic of a mindset that is servile to foreign powers and brutal to Nigerians.

“Without the rule of law, there can be no rule at all. Power in Nigeria still flows from the people, not from the barrel of a gun. I call on all men and women of goodwill not to keep quiet or sit on the fence at times like this.

“To keep Nigeria democracy is the paramount duty of all concerned stakeholders. Please speak up against this tyranny and side with the Nigerian people,” Atiku opined.

Operatives of the Department of Security Service (DSS) on Friday re-arrested Mr. Omoyele Sowore barely 24hours after his release.

Mr. Sowore was released on Thursday night after the court gave Nigeria’s secret police a 24-hour ultimatum to release him.

The court also awarded N100,000 against the prosecution for failing to comply with court orders requesting the release of Sowore and for not serving the defence counsel with necessary documents early enough.

At the resumed hearing on Friday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu after court proceedings adjourned the case till February 11 and 12 and 13, 2020 for definite hearing.

But as everyone filed out of the courtroom, no fewer than 15 armed officers of the DSS, who had laid an ambush for the defendants, made their way towards Sowore and his co-defendant Bakare, who put up a resistance but were eventually whisked away.

PDP Salutes Atiku At 73

 

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated its Presidential Candidate in the 2019 Presidential election and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa, as he clocks the age of 73 years.

In a statement issued on Monday, the PDP said Atiku Abubakar is an exceptional patriot, quintessential democrat, leading light and incontrovertible symbol of the collective quest by Nigerians for a united, peaceful, secure, democratic and prosperous nation governed by the rule of law, equity and justice for all.

“Indeed, Atiku Abubakar leads the trail in the hope for a much-desired national rebirth, anchored on purposeful leadership where the overall interest of the people is over and above selfish personal interests,” the statement read.

READ ALSO: We Will Not Allow Religion To Divide Nigerians – Buhari

The party further stated that it is lamentable that at the time our nation would have been enjoying the dividends of Atiku Abubakar’s blueprint for economic recovery and political stability, our citizens are rather groaning under prevailing harsh economic polices, excruciating multiple taxes, worsened security situation and degenerated poverty in the land.

The PDP held as unarguable that the nation, by now, would have been enjoying a breath of fresh air had the February Presidential election had gone their way.

According to the PDP, this is so because Atiku Abubakar has demonstrated in all spheres of life that the true worth of leadership is in applying the powers therein for the collective good of the people rather than that of a group or self.

The PDP, therefore, joined family members, millions of compatriots, friends and associates in celebrating Atiku Abubakar, while supplicating the Almighty God to continue to bless him and keep him in good health as he applies his wealth of experience and goodwill for the service of our dear fatherland.

Anti Hate Speech Bill An Abuse Of Legislative Process – Atiku

 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has said that the bill being conceived by the National Assembly to tackle hate speeches and other social media related contents is an abuse of legislative process.

In a statement on Tuesday, the former Vice President said the bill is one which will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.

He stated that the bill sponsored by Senator Sabi Abdullahi is obnoxious, adding that the lawmakers should rather make laws to tackle pressing domestic challenges across the country.

READ ALSO: Senate Introduces Bill To Prohibit Hate Speech

Atiku’s statement reads:

“Atiku Abubakar wishes to sound a note of caution to those now toying with the idea of an Anti Hate Speech Bill, with punishment for supposed Hate Speech to be death by hanging. The contemplation of such laws is in itself not just hate speech, but an abuse of the legislative process that will violate Nigerians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech.

Atiku urges those behind this Bill to awake to the fact that Nigeria’s democracy has survived its longest incarnation, because those who governed this great nation between 1999 and 2015 never toyed with this most fundamental of freedoms. It is prudent to build upon the tolerance inherited from those years and not shrink the democratic space to satisfy personal and group interests.

Freedom of Speech was not just bestowed to Nigerians by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), it is also a divine right given to all men by their Creator. History is littered with the very negative unintended consequences that result when this God given right is obstructed by those who seek to intimidate the people rather than accommodate them.

We should be reminded that history does not repeat itself. Rather, men repeat history. And often, to disastrous consequences.

Nigeria presently has too many pressing concerns. We are now the world headquarters for extreme poverty as well as the global epicentre of out-of-school children. Our economy is smaller than it was in 2015, while our population is one of the world’s fastest growing. We have retrogressed in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, from the position we held four years ago, and our Human Development Indexes are abysmally low.

It therefore begs the question: should we not rather make laws to tackle these pressing domestic challenges, instead of this Bill, which many citizens consider obnoxious?

Again, Atiku cautions that we must prioritise our challenges ahead of the whims and caprices of those who do not like to hear the inconvenient truth. Stop this folly and focus on issues that matter to Nigerians.”

Nigerian Army Cannot Operate Apartheid Passed Laws – The Week In Quotes

 

Here is what was said and who said what in the public sphere within the course of the passing week. 

1. “Nigerian Army cannot operate apartheid passed laws in Nigeria”

Mr Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), kicks against the proposed Operation Positive Identification (OPI).

2. “It does appear to me that government doesn’t seem to know what to do when it comes to doing what is supposed to be done”

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Jibrin Okutepa, faults the planned introduction of Operation Positive Identification across the country.

3. “Nigerians voted PDP, APC knows they were rejected”

The National Chairman of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus reacts to the Supreme Court’s verdict, he salutes Nigerians of all divide for their commitment and support to the party and to democracy.

4. “I fought a good fight for the Nigerian people”

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar says he will not relent for Nigeria and democracy regardless his defeat at the Supreme Court, in his case against President Muhammadu Buhari.

5. ” Supreme Court verdict is victory for democracy”

The Speaker of the House of the Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila describes the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Supreme Court as a victory for democracy.

6. “I think Nigerians have voted, the Supreme Court has upheld the outcome, it’s time to support and close ranks and queue behind President Muhammdu Buhari.”

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) calls on Nigerians to close ranks and support President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration following the Supreme Court’s affirmation of his election victory.

7. “It is time the country is afforded the right to move on”

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the ruling of the Supreme Court, dismissing the appeal brought before them by Atiku Abubakar and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has afforded the country the ‘right to move on’.

8. “Nigeria has a lot to learn from Egypt in the fight against terrorism”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, calls for more engagement between Nigeria’s National Assembly and the Egyptian parliament, with a view to sharing ideas that will address the challenges common to the two countries.

9. “Join us in calling the world to take action against Boko Haram”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN says concerted action by countries around the world is crucial towards tackling terrorism in the Sahel region, as well as the challenges posed by Boko Haram and ISWAP in Africa.

10. “I am very proud of you”

President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria for a fantastic beginning in the group opening match of FIFA World Cup Brazil 2019.

2019 Presidential Election: APC Hails Dismissal Of PDP’s Appeal By Supreme Court

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has hailed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar against President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 presidential election victory.

The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, described the judgement as ‘apt’, adding that the judiciary stood firm in stating that the appeal lacked merit.

A 7-man panel led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, on Wednesday, dismissed Atiku’s appeal for lacking in merit, after going through all the documents and exhibits filed in the case about a fortnight.

“Following the earlier judgement of the 2019 Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which dismissed in its entirety the PDP and Atiku’s petition, the Apex Court was apt in dismissing the appeal for lacking merit.

“The Party hails the Judiciary for standing firm in the face of the PDP and Atiku’s subterfuge and for siding with the Nigerian electorate who through their votes decided to do away with PDP’s ignominious past and re-elect the President Buhari-led APC administration which has ushered in a new era of progressive growth for our country.”

READ ALSO: Presidential Election: Supreme Court Dismisses Atiku’s Appeal

The APC enjoined the PDP to take the defeat in good faith and halt any planned agenda against Nigeria.

“With the ruling of the Supreme Court, which has finally affirmed President Buhari’s election victory, we enjoin the PDP and Atiku to jettison their destructive and disruptive agenda against Nigeria, which they have made up their minds to pursue for the next four years.

“The PDP and Atiku should not confuse opposition politics for their unpatriotic agenda. Democratic politics cannot be practiced in the state of anarchy, confusion which the PDP and Atiku wish to achieve. Such a diabolic plan will definitely fail.”

2019 Presidential Election: Supreme Court Dismisses Atiku’s Appeal

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election of February 23, 2019.

A 7-man panel led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, dismissed Atiku’s appeal for lacking in merit.

Speaking on behalf of the panel, Justice Muhammad stated that members of the panel had read all the documents and exhibits filed in the case for about a fortnight, within which the panel discovered that the appeal was lacking in merit.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Seven-Man Panel Headed By CJN Hears Atiku’s Appeal Against Buhari

The CJN noted that the reason for the apex court’s decision would be made known on a later date which would be communicated to all concerned.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday commenced hearing on the appeal filed by the PDP and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The 7-man panel was headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice IbrahimTanko Mohammed.

Other members of the panel are Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Olukayode Ariwoola, John Okoro, Aminu Sanusi, Ejembi Eko and Uwani Abba-ji.

At the opening of proceedings, the apex court stood down Atiku’s appeal for 15 minutes to enable parties agree on whether or not to consolidate all the appeals.

The Court, however, resumed sitting after all the counsels agreed to a consolidation of all the appeals.

According to the panel, all the appeals were consolidated because the main appeal was binding on all others.

Supreme Court Delivers First Ruling On Atiku’s Appeal Against Buhari

PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Supreme Court has made a ruling on the appeal of the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar against President Muhammadu Buhari. 

The seven-man panel in a short ruling, consolidated all the appeals on the matter, stating that the main appeal shall be binding on all others.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Commences Hearing On Atiku’s Appeal

Justice Tanko Muhammad, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who leads the seven-man panel of the apex court, overruled Atiku and his party’s request that their seven interlocutory appeals should be heard after the main one must have been argued.

He stated that it would be unnecessary to hear the interlocutory appeals when a judgment on the main appeal marked would suffice.

Supreme Court Commences Hearing On Atiku’s Appeal

 

The Supreme Court has commenced hearing on the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The 7-man panel is headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice IbrahimTanko Mohammed.

READ ALSO: Atiku Vs Buhari: Supreme Court Fixes Date To Hear Appeal

Other members of the panel are Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Olukayode Ariwoola, John Okoro, Aminu Sanusi, Ejembi Eko and Uwani Abba-ji.

At the opening of proceedings, the apex court stood down Atiku’s appeal for 15 mins to enable parties agree on whether or not to consolidate all the appeals.

The Court however, resumed sitting after all the counsels agreed to a consolidation of all the appeals.

Atiku Vs Buhari: Supreme Court Fixes Date To Hear Appeal

 

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has fixed Wednesday, October 30, 2019, to hear the Appeal of the PDP and Atiku/Obi, arising from the judgment of the Appeal Court.

Channels Television earlier reported that Atiku and PDP had formally filed an appeal against the judgement of the presidential election petitions tribunal, at the Supreme Court.

The opposition party is challenging the judgment of the presidential election tribunal, which affirmed the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In the appeal filed by Atiku and PDP, the opposition alleged that the panel of the presidential election tribunal erred in law “when they relied on “overall interest of justice” to hold that the second Respondent’s (President Muhammadu Buhari) exhibits R1 to R26, P85, and P86 were properly admitted in evidence.”

They also alleged among other reasons that the tribunal erred in law “when they held thus: “My firm view is that Section 76 of the Electoral Act is clearly inapplicable to the issues under consideration.

“The form referred to are the form to be used in the conduct of the election as FORM CF001 had been taken care of in Section 31 of the Electoral Act and the said FORM CF001 is tied to the steps laid down in the said Section 31 of the Electoral Act.

“More importantly, the law is firmly settled that a candidate is not required by the Constitution or the Electoral Act to attach his certificates to FORM CF001 before the candidate can be considered or adjudged to have the requisite educational qualifications to contest the election.”

They also alleged that the tribunal erred in law when they held thus: “There was/is no pleadings in the Petition to the effect that 2nd Respondents failure to attach his certificates to Form CF001 amounts to lack of educational qualification to contest the election.

“In other words, the issue of failure to attach certificates which have been flogged throughout the length and breadth of the Petitioners Address (es) in Reply to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents final written address is not the case of the Petitioner in the pleadings. No issue was joined on nonproduction of certificates or failure to attach them as an infraction of section 131, 137 and 138 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

“All submission about the failure to produce certificates or attach same to CF001 is hereby discountenanced. Even if it can be said that the submissions made are in tandem with the Petitioners Pleadings on issues 1 and 2 the fact remains that none of the facts pleaded were proved or established as required by law.”

According to them, they pleaded and proved the allegation that President Buhari gave false information of a fundamental nature to INEC in aid of his qualification.

They further stated that they also pleaded that the Nigerian Military denied that it held or was in possession of the President’s certificates. And that the failure of the president to produce his Certificates or attach same to Form CF001 in the face of unequivocal denial by the Army that his Certificates were not with them went to the root of the allegation against him that he gave false information of a fundamental nature to INEC in aid of his qualification.

Atiku and his party therefore asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal and grant the prayers sought by them.

Time line Of Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal

The proceedings of the Presidential Petition tribunal commenced on 18th of March 2019 when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar filed the petition challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23, election.

On May 8th, the tribunal commenced inaugural sitting and it was chaired by the President of the Appeal Court, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.

The tribunal was however delayed for another three weeks following the withdrawal of Justice Bulkachuwa as chairman of the tribunal.

On June 10, 2019, the pre-trial started and ended on July 3rd under the chairmanship of Justice Mohamed Garba who took over from justice Bulkachuwa.

The main petition was heard between July 4th and August 1.

Parties in the tribunal adopted their final written addresses on August 21.

A five-man panel of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal headed by Justice Mohammed Garba reserved judgment to a date to be communicated to all the parties involved in the petition.

Dr Levi Uzoukwu, who led the petitioners’ legal team insisted in his final written address that President Buhari’s claim that he submitted his certificates to the Military Board has been controverted by the Secretary to the Military Board.

Lawyers to INEC, President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, however, urged the Tribunal to dismiss the petition with substantial cost for lacking in merit and substance. They argued that the nation’s law only requires a candidate to be educated up to secondary school level or its equivalent.

PDP, Atiku Mourn Victims Of Onitsha Market Fire

 

The Peoples Democratic Party and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have mourned with the victims of the Onitsha market fire.

The party in a series of tweets on its Twitter handle said, @OfficialPDPNig
is shocked by the devastating petrol tanker fire outbreak in Onitsha, Anambra state, describing the incident as heartbreaking and traumatizing.

@OfficialPDPNig is deeply saddened by the tragic occurrence particularly, the painful death of our compatriots, including the mother and child, who lost their lives in the inferno that also razed houses, shops and other valuables.

“Indeed, our party mourns. Our hearts ache as our prayers go out to the victims and the families of the deceased, who are now in anguish over their excruciating losses.

“Our party commiserates with the government and people of Anambra state and prays for the repose of the souls of the deceased”.

READ ALSO: Anambra Explosion: Obiano Sympathises With Victims’ Families, Inaugurates Investigative Panel

The Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said, “We’ve had many preventable fuel tanker tragedies. I received with sadness, reports of a tanker explosion in Onitsha, Anambra State, which caused massive destruction to lives and properties in Ochanja Market area. My prayers and thoughts are with the families of the affected”.

The party also urged public-spirited individuals and organization to support the government in finding succour for the victims over their losses.

It, however, called for an investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the accident as well as the circumstances that may have frustrated timely intervention in the tragedy.

The PDP called for measures are put in place to forestall a reoccurrence, as the safety and wellbeing of all Nigerians remain paramount to ‘our party’.

We’ll Ensure Nigeria Makes Course Correction Away From Tyranny, Atiku Reacts To Tribunal Judgment

Atiku Abubakar

 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 2019 general election, Atiku Abubakar has finally reacted to the tribunal verdict in his suit against President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Atiku in a statement signed on Friday explained his reasons for ‘pursuing judicial route,’ and why he is seeking legal redress challenging Buhari’s victory in the February 23 presidential election.

According to him, he wants to ensure that the votes of Nigerians count and also ensure that Nigeria makes a course correction away from tyranny and towards democracy.

The former Vice-President also appreciated his supporters and urged them not to underestimate the effect of their belief that justice will be done.

 

Read the full statement below…

 Message of Gratitude to Nigerians For Your Support on This Necessary Journey 

Dearly beloved citizens of Nigerians,

I write to personally thank you for your support for our shared common goal and the solidarity I enjoyed from all walks of life and every strata of society, right from July 21, 2018, when I informed you, the good people of Nigeria, that I would contest the 2019 Presidential election, to Wednesday September 11, 2019, when the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal rendered its verdict.

Nothing good comes easy, and hard as the task to rid Nigeria from the forces of fascism, and be an instrument for the full restoration of the rule of law and democracy in Nigeria is, your support makes the struggle worthwhile.

I owe so much to this great land of Nigeria that took me from the streets of Jada, where I sold firewood, to the heights I have attained, by God’s benevolence, in the civil service, in corporate Nigeria, and in public service.

If I do not play my part in making it possible for other orphaned children, indigent youths and the less privileged, to replicate and even surpass my path to significance, I would have failed my Maker. If I do not ensure that the ladder I climbed remains accessible to those at the bottom, middle and top tiers of society, I would not have fulfilled my purpose.

And only by ensuring that democracy is not just done, but seen to be done, can Nigeria and Nigerians have a sense that this our dear land is indeed a land where Unity, Faith, Peace and Progress reside.

It is for this, and other patriotic reasons, that I am pursuing this judicial route: To ensure that the votes of Nigerians count and are counted.

Yes, those who do not want this as Nigeria’s reality, will use every trick in the book to undermine, discourage, misinform and mislead, but with God’s help and the support of Nigerians, we will ensure that Nigeria makes a course correction away from tyranny and towards democracy.

We must return to being Africa’s bastion of democracy, where the rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom after the Speech, are guaranteed. We must stand together to pursue this just cause all the way, so that our judiciary are not afraid to do their jobs and have to be wary of blackmail, intimidation, and victimisation.

I note the immense outpouring of goodwill from ordinary Nigerians in every nook and cranny of Nigeria and from all regions, religions and relationships. Once again I thank you all for your support. I also thank the governors elected on the platform of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party, as well as the National Executive Committee, for their unanimous and unambiguous support for the judicial phase of this struggle, especially after it was announced that we would go on to appeal.

I urge all Nigerians to continue their support for this recourse to constitutional order via the courts. Even if there is little or nothing you can do to ensure that justice is done in Nigeria, just believe that it will happen. Let us never underestimate the effect of our belief in Nigeria.

Finally, I say to all concerned, that we will all die and give account of our lives to our Creator.

Thank you and may God bless Nigeria.

Waziri Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007.