On Monday, the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s dismissal of Atiku Abubakar’s electoral challenge turned into a verbal skirmish between the presidency, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate. Atiku, addressing a press conference, accused the Supreme Court of endorsing illegalities by upholding President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential poll.
In response, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, took a swipe at Atiku, asserting that he entered the election with a “fragmented and tattered umbrella.” The presidency challenged the viability of Atiku’s candidacy, emphasizing that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could not have won with a party platform divided into four parts.
The Supreme Court’s decision last week marked the end of a 171-day legal battle, rejecting the election appeals filed by Atiku and Peter Obi. The court, led by Justice Inyang Okoro, declined to consider the academic records from Chicago State University, which Atiku sought to present as fresh evidence against Tinubu’s alleged certificate forgery.
Atiku, expressing disappointment at the verdict, deemed it an endorsement of illegality. He vowed to continue the struggle for democracy and rule of law, calling for constitutional amendments, including a six-year single term for the presidency and rotational leadership among the country’s six zones.
Defending President Tinubu, media aide Bayo Onanuga accused Atiku of having “inordinate ambition” and urged him to end his unprofitable bid for the presidency. The APC’s National Secretary, Senator Ajibola Basiru, labeled Atiku as desperate and suffering from post-election trauma, dismissing his understanding of the electoral process and the judiciary.
Despite the verbal sparring, Atiku affirmed his commitment to politics, emphasizing the need for deeper democracy and economic restructuring. The clash reflects the ongoing tensions within Nigeria’s political landscape as the country grapples with the aftermath of the presidential election.