The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has denied congratulating President Bola Tinubu over the outcome of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.
Bahdstreetvibes had earlier reported that the tribunal on Wednesday struck out Atiku’s petition against Tinubu.
Atiku, in a statement released through his media adviser, Paul Ibe, on Thursday, said the congratulatory statement is fake news being orchestrated by those desperately looking for validation for the usurpation of the mandate of Nigerians.
Ibe noted that his principal is not retiring from politics following the tribunal’s judgement.
According to Ibe, Atiku couldn’t have validated electoral banditry because doing so would have amounted to a rape on the conscience of Nigerians who have struggled for years to entrench electoral integrity.
Ibe said, “If their conscience is clear and they are convinced that their victory is valid, they don’t have to blackmail their political opponents into congratulating them through fake news.
“Why should a man be desperate for validation? Does truth require validation? Why should you issue a congratulatory statement and attribute it to Atiku if your conscience is not troubled by the electoral heist you have perpetrated.
“Contrary to the fake news being circulated by Tinubu propagandists, Atiku has already asked his lawyers to proceed to the Supreme Court to challenge the judgement of the election petition tribunal.
“To confirm that the purported message is fake and pedestrian, it was addressed to the “President-elect.” Though we know it is a pyrrhic victory, is it not ridiculous to still address Bola Tinubu as “President-elect” five months after swearing-in?”
According to Ibe, “This struggle is not about Atiku; it’s about Nigeria and the future of our democracy. By allowing election riggers to get away with their misdeeds, our democracy will be in greater jeopardy. Consent is essential to democratic mandate; ruling people against their will undermines everything democracy stands for.”
He also explained that the PDP presidential candidate is not going into retirement and will instead continue to be part of the struggle to deepen democracy in the country.
Ibe added, “The Waziri has nothing personal against President Tinubu. He owes him no ill will. Let me, however, make it very clear that this struggle is about principle and justice. He is not in this struggle because he hates Tinubu. He is in it to ensure that people who rigged elections are not allowed to get away with it. Injustice and rigging promote bitterness and division. No leader should be proud to lead angry and aggrieved citizens.”