Abuja, October 30, 2023 – Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of Nigeria and the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 Election, held a World Press Conference on Monday at the PDP Headquarters in Abuja. The conference was centered on the recent Supreme Court judgment regarding the Presidential Election Petition.
Expressing Concerns about the Supreme Court’s Judgment
During the press conference, Atiku Abubakar voiced his concerns about the recent Supreme Court judgment. He emphasized that the potential consequences of this judgment extend beyond the current government’s tenure and could have a lasting impact on Nigeria’s democracy. He particularly highlighted his apprehension that the court’s decision might inadvertently endorse electoral malpractices, including forgery, identity theft, and perjury.
A Historical Perspective on Commitment to Democracy
Atiku Abubakar underlined his commitment to democratic principles and the rule of law by providing a historical overview of his political career. He emphasized his longstanding dedication to the path of truth and democracy, even in the face of personal challenges, such as assassination attempts and exile.
Allegations of Electoral Irregularities
Atiku Abubakar presented several allegations of electoral irregularities during the 2023 presidential election. He pointed to the forgery of academic credentials by a prominent political figure, violence, manipulations, and misconduct by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He argued that these issues raise significant questions about the integrity of the electoral process.
Concerns About the Independence of the Judiciary
The former Vice President raised concerns about the current state of Nigeria’s judiciary, stating that judicial and electoral appointments have become highly politicized. This has led to a lack of independence in the judicial system, potentially compromising its integrity.
Appeal for Electoral Reform
Atiku Abubakar proposed several constitutional and legislative amendments aimed at improving Nigeria’s electoral system and restoring trust in its democracy. His suggestions included making electronic voting and results collation mandatory, concluding election-related litigation before the winner’s inauguration, adopting a Two-Round System for presidential elections, and implementing a single six-year term for the President to be rotated among the six geopolitical zones. Additionally, he called for INEC to be mandated to verify the credentials submitted by candidates.
Transparency and Accountability in the Judiciary
Atiku emphasized the need for reforms in the judiciary, including the introduction of an automated case assignment system, transparency in judge appointments, annual performance evaluations of judges, and a shift in focus toward affirming voters’ choices in election cases. He argued that these reforms could help reduce the number of election petitions and combat corruption within the judiciary.
In conclusion, Atiku Abubakar expressed his continued commitment to democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria. He emphasized the importance of taking action to prevent the country from descending into chaos and called on the younger generation to lead the way in shaping the future of the nation.
The former Vice President’s press conference shed light on his concerns regarding the recent Supreme Court judgment and the state of Nigeria’s electoral and judicial systems. He proposed significant reforms aimed at restoring confidence in the electoral process and ensuring a transparent and fair democratic system. The address serves as a call to action for reforms that could help strengthen Nigeria’s democracy.