The Presidency thanks former ambassadors Mark Green and Johnnie Carson – along with other foreign observers – for their concerns over the logistics of the recent general election in Nigeria and their work as observers on the National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute Election Observation Missions.
It is worth setting their comments in context. No one has disputed the result of the election, except the candidates that fell short. The biggest and the most competitive presidential election in the history of Nigeria has been won by one man: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The US State department congratulated President-elect Bola Tinubu of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC and the people of Nigeria on the outcome of the “competitive election.” British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, was also quick to congratulate the winner, on this victory. And so did many others in ECOWAS and the African Union.
Though it is true there were some delays and technical faults in the process that we can learn from – as is the case in any election the world over – the vote progressed and consolidated democracy in Nigeria. The integrity of the Electoral Act of 2022 was strengthened. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System cut out ghost, unauthorised or multiple votes to stem fraud. The election may not have been pluperfect, but due to the steps the government has taken, it is an improvement on previous polls. That achievement should not be overlooked. The next step is for the Election Commission to ensure transparency in collation.
Adverse reactions as received from some quarters are themselves a part of the learning process for everyone. Elsewhere, the world had been treated to epic lies, obfuscation, jingoism and hate, and told by global media to expect a different outcome. Nigerians shocked the world by refusing religious hatred and sectarian politics.
All true friends of Nigeria should join the people in proceeding forward for sustainable peace.
APC victory in the presidential election, underscored by the nationwide wave of support in the National Assembly results is clear mandate for the party to retain power for another term of four years.
This election is an improvement on past elections and due credit should be given to the government and people of this country.
PRESIDENT BUHARI NEVER TOLD AG AND CBN GOV TO DEFY SUPREME COURT ORDER
The Presidency wishes to react to some public concerns that President Muhammadu Buhari did not react to the Supreme Court judgement on the issue of the N500 and N1,000 old currency notes, and states here plainly and clearly that at no time did he instruct the Attorney General and the CBN Governor to disobey any court orders involving the government and other parties.
Since the President was sworn into office in 2015, he has never directed anybody to defy court orders, in the strong belief that we can’t practise democracy without the rule of law and the commitment of his administration to this principle has not changed.
Following the ongoing intense debate about the compliance concerning the legality of the old currency notes, the Presidency therefore wishes to state clearly that President Buhari has not done anything knowingly and deliberately to interfere with or obstruct the administration of justice.
The President is not a micromanager and will not, therefore, stop the Attorney General and the CBN Governor from performing the details of their duties in accordance with the law. In any case. it is debatable at this time if there is proof of willful denial by the two of them on the orders of the apex court.
The directive of the President, following the meeting of the Council of State. is that the Bank must make available for circulation all the money that is needed and nothing has happened to change the position.
It is an established fact that the President is an absolute respecter of judicial process and the authority of the courts. He has done nothing in the last eight or so years to act in any way to obstruct the administration of justice, cause lack of confidence in the administration of justice, or otherwise interfere or corrupt the courts and there is no reason whatsoever that he should do so now when he is getting ready to leave office.
The negative campaign and personalised attacks against the President by the opposition and all manner of commentators is unfair and unjust, as no court order at any level has been issued or directed at him.
As for the cashless system the CBN is determined to put in place, it is a known fact that many of the country’s citizens who bear the brunt of the sufferings, surprisingly support the policy as they believe that the action would cut corruption, fight terrorism, build an environment of honesty and reinforce the incorruptible leadership of the President.
It is therefore wide off the mark to blame the President for the current controversy over the cash scarcity, despite the Supreme Court judgement. The CBN has no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives from the President.
President Buhari has also rejected the impression that he lacks compassion, saying that “no government in our recent history has introduced policies to help economically marginalised and vulnerable groups like the present administration.”