The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Olisa Agbakoba has urged presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in last Saturday’s election, Atiku Abubakar to accept his defeat in good faith.
He told him not to contest the results in the court but cement his place as a statesman by working to galvanise the PDP and third forces for the political struggles ahead.
In a paper titled ‘2019 Presidential Election: Ethnic Consideration vs Governance Consideration’ on Wednesday, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said: “I understand the PDP is aggrieved at the outcome of the election and alleged massive irregularities.
“I urge former Vice President Atiku Abubakar not to approach the Election Petition Tribunal.
“He might have (been) moved backwards by his loss but he should not lose sight of the legacy and greatness that lie in front of him.”
Urging Atiku to work with others to build a stronger political structure that can win in the next dispensation, Agbakoba said: “There is also a lot of work to be done in both political and electoral reforms. I request former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to step into the shoes.”
He pointed out the presidential election was marred irregularities but argued it was better not to approach the election tribunal.
He said: “I can see how tempting it is to take the option of the Election Petition Tribunal. But that, in my view, is not the right decision.
“We look forward to a new Nigeria, strong and united; a new Nigeria that will not vote on the basis of ethnic and primordial sentiments.”
He lamented ethnicity played major role in the voting pattern, pointing out the APC and the PDP benefited from “primordial voting.”
“The excepted zone is the South-West, where voting occurred on the basis of issues.
The significance and consequence of the 2019 presidential election are huge unless we are able to reverse it. 2023 will follow the pattern of 2019 unless we do something about it,” Agbakoba said.