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Nigeria’s opposition leader Atiku Abubakar rejects election results

While Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari celebrates his re-election, opposition leader Atiku Abubakar has rejected the results and seeks to go to court. The question remains, will the Nigerian judicial system play its role impartially?

President Muhammadu Buhari has been re-elected into power to lead for another four years. The elections were fraught with violence and irregularities that has led to Pres Buhari’s main challenger former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to reject the results of the elections. Atiku termed the elections as “the militarization of the electoral process, and a throwback to the jackboot era of military dictatorship.”

President Buhari has received congratulatory messages via Twitter from Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, who urged Buhari to lead Nigeria to greater heights. Other Presidents have also sent their congratulatory massages including Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo who “extended warm congratulations to His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari.”

Read: Postponement fuels lack of trust in Nigeria’s ability to hold fair elections

Abubabakar contested under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and has rejected the results of the election. On a Twitter thread, Atiku said, “If I had lost in a free and fair election, I would have called the victor within seconds of my being aware of his victory to offer not just my congratulations, but my services to help unite Nigeria by being a bridge between the North and the South. However, in my democratic struggles for the past three decades, I have never seen our democracy so debased as it was on Saturday, February 23, 2019. Consequently, I hereby reject the result of the February 23, 2019 sham election and will be challenging it in court.”

Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta also took to Twitter to and congratulated President Buhari on his “ re-election for a second term as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Your victory is a clear demonstration of the trust and confidence the people of Nigeria has in your ability to lead the country to greater heights of progress.”

Read: Nigerian elections: why poor economic performance is front and centre

While Atiku prepares to go to court to challenge the victory of President Buhari, many have suggested that the removal of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria was a strategic step by President Buhari to remain in power. The question remains, will the Nigerian judicial system play its role impartially?

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