The Presidency is insisting that President Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the winner of the February 23, 2019 with a clear margin.
The Presidency also backed the decision to suspend ex-Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen by President Buhari over the dispute surrounding his Asset Declaration Form before the February elections.
The statement that was put out read, ”It is instructive that President Buhari clearly won this vote and the report in no way disputes that fundamental fact. President Buhari won by almost 4 million majority, with a 14% margin.”
”This we achieved. We have developed a tradition of improvements in our electoral process through enforcement of our electoral law which resulted in the prosecution and conviction of electoral officers that were found wanting in compromising our electoral process.
”We, however, agree notwithstanding, that there are improvements that must be made in the process for the future. The sheer size, terrain and remoteness of certain regions do pose serious logistical challenges.
”They also pose a problem for electoral observers: across a country of over 190 million, only 40 observers were deployed to observe just 16 states + the Federal Capital Territory (Nigeria has 36 states).
”It was unfortunate that the election was postponed yet imagine if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had gone ahead unprepared. The delay undoubtedly resulted in a lower turnout.
”Because they are registered to vote in their place of birth, and not where they live, many Nigerians could not make arrangements to travel back again.
”But the fact still remains that major democracies of the world have equally recorded worst turnout in modern history.
”The effect of voter turnout, at any rate, is a two-way traffic that affected both sides equally.”
”To pretend otherwise is wrong considering that in 2015, the INEC postponed the election by six weeks under a PDP President, whom – as an incumbent – it was said to help at the time. It didn’t make a difference. Similarly, neither did it aid the sitting President in 2019.
”It is amazing that the electoral observers recommended that electoral laws are enforced, and perpetrators of crimes punished and at the same time implicitly criticise the removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria for failing to disclose his assets as required by law. Which would they prefer?
”The law is a matter of principle that takes its course regardless of time and circumstances. It is never a matter of convenience and indeed remains functional, operational and enforceable without due regard to the electioneering process.
”As we have already said, we are committed to reviewing our electoral laws and processes, like every democracy across the world should.”