A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Olisa Agbakoba, has urged the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Saturday’s presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, not to challenge his defeat by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress at the Election Petitions Tribunal.
Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to win the election, while Atiku scored 11,262,978 votes to come second.
However, Atiku has rejected the result, saying the election was marred by voting irregularities.
The former Vice-President said he seek redress at the tribunal.
But in a piece titled, ‘2019 Presidential election: Ethnic consideration vs governance consideration’, written by Agbakoba on Wednesday, the legal practitioner advised Atiku to accept the outcome of the poll.
Agbakoba wrote, “I understand the PDP is aggrieved at the outcome of the election and the alleged massive irregularities. I urge former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar not to approach the Election Petitions Tribunal.
“He might have (been) moved backwards by his loss, but he should not lose sight of the legacy and greatness that lies in front of him.”
He added, “There is also a lot of work to be done in both political and electoral reforms. I request Atiku Abubakar to step into the shoes.”
Agbakoba however said he did not mean that the election was perfect.
He said, “I can see how tempting it is to take the option of the Election Petitions 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 said the voting pattern of the election had shown that ethnicity played a significant role in its result.
He said both the APC and PDP benefited from “primordial voting”.
He said, “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.”