Vet National Assembly’s bills, policies, Buhari tells PDP

Following the Supreme Court’s explanation of its judgment affirming his election on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to assume its role as a viable opposition and scrutinize National Assembly’s bills and policies.

A statement issued in Abuja by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), said the opposition needed to do this rather than preoccupying itself with court cases.

It, however, praised the PDP for opting to challenge the result of the February 2019 presidential election in court rather than resort to other means.

The statement said: “The legislative agenda of the ninth assembly is ambitious in both size and scope. It is critical the opposition is there to scrutinise bills and policies, rather than preoccupy themselves with unsustainable court cases.

“We appreciate the PDP and their candidate for taking these claims to courts rather than expressing them in other ways, but now Nigeria needs a robust and rigorous opposition. The nation needs to move on.”

The statement said the Presidency welcomed the elucidation of the Supreme Court ruling on the PDP petition.

The presidency added: “It reiterates that the onus of proof must necessarily fall on those that challenge the vote.

“Allegations must be substantiated if they are to hold, and this requires producing credible witnesses that verify key claims. As the Supreme Court has stated, the case failed this test.

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“On the issue of qualifications, President Buhari has a long history of service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The questioning of this fact seems to fly in the face of all evidence.

“However, now it is time for the PDP to take up the service mandated by this election.”

It further stated: “While it is correct to give credit to the courts for affirming this electoral victory-and we commend the courage of the bench to arrive at the right conclusion given manifest and subtle pressures to do otherwise-the reality is that courts were convinced by arguments from the lawyers representing the APC and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari that results reflected the true wishes of a majority of our citizens.

“President Buhari won four million more votes than his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the February poll.

“No serious electoral observers have challenged this result. And now the Supreme Court has explained why the PDP appeal is unsubstantiated. We hope this finally puts the matter behind us.

“We should now grasp this moment to move forward – together.”

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