Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President of Nigeria, called on the citizens of Africa’s most populous nation on Wednesday to ‘accept’ the shocking Supreme Court ruling that sacked Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State and replaced him with Hope Uzodinma of President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress.
But Atilu also called on Nigerians to join forces and resist the despotism under the former military ruler retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement sent to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C., Atiku said Nigerians should escape from “the prevailing despotism and despair” under Buhari and seek true democracy.
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“In good and bad times, we must continue to be the object of hope that the Nigerian people have for their escape from the prevailing despotism and despair that has gripped almost every aspect of our national life. We provided genuine democracy for this nation once before, and I believe it is our destiny to democratically restore what has been lost due to the encroachment of anti democratic agents,” Atiku said.
Read full statement by Atiku as sent to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.
On The Verdict of the Supreme Court Re Imo State
With regards to the judgment of the Supreme Court, which nullified the election of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Emeka Ihedioha, as Governor of Imo state, I can only say that since the Supreme Court is final, we must accept its judgment, however unexpected and unpalatable it may be. The Rule of law must guide our paths even if logic sheds light on a different path.
Having said that, let me state unequivocally that I solidarise with Emeka Ihedioha, a man I know to be a great leader of men and resources. In the fullness of time, I am convinced that he will overcome this setback and emerge stronger.
I also stand fully with the Peoples Democratic Party. In good and bad times, we must continue to be the object of hope that the Nigerian people have for their escape from the prevailing despotism and despair that has gripped almost every aspect of our national life. We provided genuine democracy for this nation once before, and I believe it is our destiny to democratically restore what has been lost due to the encroachment of anti democratic agents.
Philosophers have said that tough times never last, but that tough people do. I urge the people of Imo and the entirety of the Nigerian people not to give in to despair. This nation has gone through despotic times before, and we have survived them and thrived. I am very certain that this history will repeat itself.
My greatest desire, and one I hope to see again in my lifetime, is that Nigeria will fulfil its potential as the land of Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress. These four ideals have been missing from our borders for a while, and all freedom loving Nigerians ought to henceforth work together to bring them back. So help us God.