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Stop blackmailing the presidential election tribunal, group tackles Tinubu

The NEO AFRICANA CENTRE has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to stop blackmailing and intimidating the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPEC) as he has been doing.


Tinubu had, in his final written address to the petitions challenging his declaration as president warned the PREPEC not to nullify the February 25 presidential election on the ground that he did not score 25 percent of lawful votes cast in the election in the Federal Capital Territory as doing so could lead to chaos and anarchy.


The Centre said it frowns on this belligerent disposition of the president and advised him to desist from it as it is injurious to the peace and progress of the country.


In a statement by its Director of Public Affairs, Jenkins Udu, the public policy think tank expressed regret that threat and intimidation are becoming the trademark of the Bola Tinubu democratic culture. It recalled that Tinubu’s supporters, about a fortnight ago, embarked on a mission of intimidation and harassment within the premises of the European Union in Abuja over the report of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) which was critical of the conduct and outcome of the 2023 presidential elections in Nigeria.


The pro-Tinubu group had warned the EU and the PREPEC which was availed of the report that adopting the EU-EOM position could lead to anarchy and doom. The Centre notes with sadness that sending warning notes to public institutions may have become Tinubu’s well-worn tactic in the bid to sustain his highly questionable mandate.


The statement reads in part:

“We have noted with disappointment the growing penchant by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his supporters for resorting to intimidation and blackmail on any issue that touches the shaky mandate he holds as Nigeria’s president. We witnessed this about a fortnight ago when a pro-Tinubu group besieged the premises of the European Union, threatening fire and brimstone over the report of the European Union Election Observation Mission which was unfavorable to Tinubu’s claim to the presidency on the basis of the presidential election of 25 February.


“Now, lawyers representing President Tinubu at the PREPEC have resorted to the same strong arm tactic by telling the tribunal that anarchy and chaos could break out if Tinubu’s election is annulled on the strength of his failure to secure 25 percent of the lawful votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja in the 25 February elections.


“We find this resort to blackmail and intimidation very condemnable and unconscionable. It is reckless, to say the least, that any person or group should arrogate to themselves the power to issue threats and intimidate public institutions and their officials. This belligerent tactic is reprehensible and most unacceptable. It portrays its purveyors as threats to the peace and progress of the country.


“We are disappointed that rather than rely on fine points of law in arguing their case, Tinubu’s lawyers chose to play to the gallery by assuming that Nigerians of all persuasions are pro-Tinubu. As a public policy think tank, we are aware that Nigerians are sharply divided over the outcome of the 2023 presidential elections.


“It is therefore preposterous and misplaced to assume that Nigerians will take to the streets if Tinubu is removed from office.


“We advise Tinubu and his supporters to tread softly. In fact, Tinubu should borrow a leaf from Mr Peter Obi and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Tinubu’s challengers in the election, who have managed their supporters well by prevailing on them at all times to shun any action that could lead to the breach of public peace.


“Since violence begets violence, we urge Tinubu and his supporters to refrain from statements that could set Nigerians against one another. We are aware that Nigeria is nobody’s personal estate. Therefore, blackmail and intimidation as instruments of power grab will not work.”



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