Dangiwa Umar, founder of the Movement for Unity and Progress (MUP), has advised Atiku Abubakar not to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the election.
Atiku, candidate of the opposing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had described the outcome of the election as worst in the history of the country— with his party set to challenge the result in court.
Reacting in a statement on Thursday, Umar said no matter the outcome, Atiku should tread with caution.
“No one in good conscience ever thought an exercise as gigantic as conducting a Presidential election in a country as vast as Nigeria, would go without hitches and setbacks,” he said.
“And in spite of the generally positive comments by observers, last Saturday’s exercise did not. It goes without saying that the outcome of an imperfect exercise cannot but remain imperfect itself – a fair illustration of the dictum; garbage in garbage out.
“In the circumstances, we are obliged to look with sympathy at the decision by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar not to concede defeat but to mount a legal challenge against the result of the Presidential election that held on the 23rd of February, 2019; And yet, regardless of the way he feels about it, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has an obligation to tread cautiously, taking into account the impact any action he or other leaders take will have on the gravely tense political and security conditions prevailing in Nigeria today.
“As we are well aware, elections and electioneering campaigns in Nigeria as in much of Africa, have almost always proved to be deadly triggers for strife, apprehension, disputes and other forms of conflict, often leading to violence and bloodshed. The longer and the more protracted the process, the heavier the toll.
“Sadly, Nigeria has suffered terribly from these calamities in the course of this bitterly contested election exercise. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his party ran an admirably strong and sophisticated campaign. He should be justly proud of his achievements. He had established his credentials as a powerful and worthy alternative presidential material now and in the years to come.”
He said Atiku’s decision not to accept the outcome of the election may seriously detract from the high pedestal that he deserves in Nigeria’s political establishment.
Umar added that he is an admirer of Atiku, and in the interest of peace and democracy, the PDP candidate should reconsider his decision.
He also urged Buhari to be a leader of all and to ignore the voting pattern that brought him to power and consider the country as one large family.