Wednesday, April 1, 2015

President Jonathan urges PDP to celebrate and not mourn as PDP vows to challenge Buhari's victory at tribunal

President Goodluck Jonathan has urged his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, members not to mourn but to celebrate despite losing the presidential election to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) of the All Progressives Congress.

In his statement after the announcement of the election result, Jonathan said the PDP should be rejoicing because it had in the last 16 years steered the country away from ethnic and regional politics.

He said, "To my colleagues in the PDP, I thank you for your support. Today, the PDP should be celebrating rather than mourning. We have established a legacy of democratic freedom, transparency, economic growth and free and fair elections.

"For the past 16 years, we have steered the country away from ethnic and regional politics. We created a Pan-Nigerian political party and brought home to our people the realities of economic development and social transformation.

"Through patriotism and diligence, we have built the biggest and most patriotic party in Nigerian history. We must stand together as a party and look to the future with renewed optimism."

The President thanked all Nigerians for the opportunity given him to lead the country.

While thanking Nigerians for turning out en-masse for the March 28 elections, he said he had kept his promise to bequeath the culture of free and fair elections to the country.

Jonathan said although some people have expressed mixed feelings about the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, those who might feel aggrieved should follow due process based on the constitution and electoral laws in seeking redress.

Meanwhile the  Peoples Democratic Party has said it will challenge the outcome of the March 28 presidential election.

The PDP through its agent at the National Collation Centre in Abuja on Wednesday, had refused to sign the result sheet despite its candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan, having earlier conceded defeat.

The agent of the PDP, Bello Fadile, who was in attendance when parties were being called upon to sign the result sheet, told journalists shortly after the result was declared that the party was not satisfied with the outcome of the election and had decided to challenge it at the election tribunal.

"Whether I sign it (the result sheet) or I don't sign it,  does not make any difference. It doesn't invalidate the result. When we go to court, then we can challenge the result," Fadile said.

When asked to confirm if the PDP will challenge the result at the presidential election petitions tribunal, Fadile added, "Sure! The party petitioned. Don't forget. So the party will follow through the petition. There are rules for this. The law is there.

"The result was declared on the 1st of April, I think. We will follow the due process. Like the president (Jonathan) said, 'If you have any grievances, follow due process and the due process in this instance is to go to the tribunal."

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How would you describe the way President Jonathan is handling the defeat.

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