The camp of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has described Bola Tinubu as ‘President-select’ and not ‘President-elect’.
It also warned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against using the instrument of blackmail to intimidate the judges of the presidential election petition tribunal.
Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was declared as the ‘President-elect’ by the Independent National Electoral Commission after polling the largest number of votes in the February 25 election.
The spokesperson for Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council, Daniel Bwala, who gave the warning in an interview with Arise TV said that the election had been conducted and a president had been “selected by the INEC, that is their preferred candidate”.
“Now we are in court to say that it was a rigged process. As long as there is no final determination of the matter, we have every right under law, equity and justice to hold the opinion that we express - that he is a President-select and not a President-elect,” he said.
Bwala also said the PDP had observed that in the last few months, the Nigerian government under the platform of the APC had been using the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to intimidate media houses in an attempt to subdue freedom of expression from the opposition.
Bwala said the governing party and the government in power will always want to do anything they can to intimidate judges or induce them. He also noted that they always try to manipulate the process or confuse the people.
The PDP presidential campaign spokesperson said, “Our concern about the adjudication is the known fact that in Africa, any time a case is taken to court, the governing party and the government in power will always want to do anything they can to either intimidate the judges, to induce the judges, to manipulate the process or to confuse the people.
“At that stage, what do you do? The options are two: one is to become problematic in the country like creating chaos everywhere, which to us, is not strengthening democracy.
“The other one is to gather a global consensus because that is the whole idea of the United Nations, that nations of the world subscribe to agreements codified in charter, in conventions, in treaties, in agreements, that the common thing that binds us together is the rule of law, adherence to due process of law, non-interference in the institutions of the state.
“To be able to do that, you will need the world to look at Nigeria and see whether we are obeying the rules.”
Bwala disclosed that they started “engaging international media because our problem is that we have seen over the last few months how the government of the day is using an institution of the state called Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to intimidate media houses”.
“The international media are bound by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission that always bring draconian military rules in a democratic state to say that you cannot express yourself,” he added.
“We have the utmost confidence in the judicial system but what we are saying is that the government, the ruling party should not use what is commonly known as the instrument of blackmail, which is used to preserve the power to intimidate the judges.”