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Atiku at liberty to challenge Buhari, says Jonathan
NIGERIA former President Goodluck Jonathan says Atiku Abubakar has a right, to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari if unsatisfied with the outcome of the 2019 presidential election.
Jonathan made this assertion in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES on its special magazine publication on the Fourth Republic 20th anniversary.
He condemned the comparison between the 2015 and 2019 electoral events, noting that the fundamentals of the 2015 election that made him the first incumbent leader to concede defeat, defers from the 2019 election.
“It is not right for anybody to compare Jonathan’s decision in 2015 with Abubakar position in 2019 because they are two different scenarios,” Jonathan said.
He said it would be deceitful to compare his decision to concede the 2015 presidential election to Muhammadu Buhari and Abubakar’s lawsuit over the outcome of the February 23 poll.
“In 2015, I was a sitting president, Although INEC is an independent body and every structure of government still operates under the president one way or the other
“…INEC conducted the elections under my watch. Atiku was not a sitting president and if he or the party feels that things were not done right, of course, they are at liberty to challenge it in court,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan appraised his administration as exceptional, x-raying his achievements in office:
“Nigeria was the number one destination for foreign direct investment under my tenure. We were rated the biggest economy in Africa. We transformed the agricultural sector and brought the nation closer towards food self-sufficiency
“Our currency was stable and inflationary pressure was kept at a single digit. We may not have been comfortable with the exchange rate of less than N200 to the dollar at that time but I can tell you that the economy was stable.
“The stability we had ensured that business people and investors could plan because you were sure of the exchange rate and the cost of your goods at any point in time, whether you were exporting or importing. Economically you could say that Nigeria was stable and strong,” Jonathan said.
However, he recognised there were areas that needed improvement but such inadequacies were still capable of elevating the nation than what it is presently since he left the office.
The Buhari administration came to power for the second term following a victory over the People Democratic Party (PDP)’s Candidate Abubakar in the February 23, 2019, presidential elections.
The PDP had filed a petition on March 18, 2019, to challenge the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) declaration of Buhari and his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner.
Conversely, the Human rights watch in its report, on June 10, said the 2019 election that gave President Muhammadu Buhari a second term was marred by political violence, which contributed to the general insecurity across the country in contrast to the relatively peaceful 2015 elections that brought Buhari into his first term in office.