Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday branded as enemies of Nigeria those urging his former deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar not to go to court to challenge his loss in last month’s presidential election.
Obasanjo in a statement in Dubai where he is attending a function said the reason he had refrained from speaking on the outcome of the February 23 presidential election was because Atiku had gone to court to seek redress.
“We will continue to sustain Nigeria in stability and unity on the altar of justice, equity, fairness, freedom, human rights and democracy. Stability cannot be successfully built on injustice, corruption, inequity, and divided nation, and incompetence, nepotism and one-sidedness,” he said.
The former president also welcomed Friday’s declaration of Senator Ademola Adeleke as the winner of the September 2018 governorship election in Osun State by the State Election Petitions Tribunal.
He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was wrong to have proclaimed Governor Adegboyega Oyetola as the winner in the first place.
The former president said it was a “desperate attempt to change the will of the Osun people.”
He said the Osun State election tribunal legal process “gives renewed confidence in the judiciary at a time when there are coordinated efforts by some political leaders to undermine, if not destroy, it.”
He added: “As I have repeatedly said, the world is watching events in Nigeria with keen interest. What we do or do not do right in our electoral process will have implications not just for Nigeria but for Africa and indeed the world. By correcting what was clearly a desperate attempt to change the will of the Osun people, the tribunal has saved Nigeria from great embarrassment and started the process of saving and strengthening our democracy.
“Let me also commend Sen. Adeleke for his statesmanship in going to court to seek justice. This is the right and proper thing to do in any decent society. Going to court must be encouraged and not discouraged as some people are now attempting to do.
“While I have refrained from commenting on the 2019 elections because one of the parties has gone to court, may I point out that those who call themselves our development partners and friends and preach sacrificing justice on the altar of so-called stability are enemies of justice, democracy and Nigeria. We will continue to sustain Nigeria in stability and unity on the altar of justice, equity, fairness, freedom, human rights and democracy. Stability cannot be successfully built on injustice, corruption, inequity, and divided nation, and incompetence, nepotism and one-sidedness.
“Nigeria will march forward with or without those who will want to feed us with diet of values and actions that are not acceptable in their own countries. Nigeria is of age. And if Buhari could go to court three times to seek justice, even without reasonable cause, any Nigerian who feels denied of justice must feel free to go to court.
“Those who have conceived and are promoting the narrative that if Atiku Abubakar continues to seek legal redress there will be violence, are evil minds looking for excuse to unleash violence on Nigerians. At no time in history has sustainable peace been built on theft, injustice, corruption and inequity. These merchants of chaos and violence should have no place in any decent society. And they must know that no intimidation or prophesy of violence and doomsday will cow anybody. Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians. We will respect as friends those who believe that what is good for their country should be good for Nigeria. Yes, we are Africans but we have values that are consistent with international standards. Court is part of our democratic process and it must be used when necessary if only to achieve justice, stability, unity and progress for our country.”
Culled from The Nation Newspaper