Supporters of Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the last presidential election, staged a peaceful protest in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Monday to defend the mandate of the president-elect.
The declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the election held on February 25 has continued to spark controversies with the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Labour Party, LP, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, respectively, discrediting the electoral process.
Abubakar and Obi, who came second and third, respectively in the presidential election have vowed to challenge the result in court despite Tinubu’s call on his rivals to “join hands” with him, “so that we may begin the task of rebuilding our national home together.”
The voluntary protest by the “lovers of APC and Asiwaju” was held at the Unity Fountain, Abuja.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as “Elections were legitimate and Asiwaju emerged winner,” “APC, my choice; Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my president-elect,” “‘No’ to an interim government,” and “Solidarity in defence of democracy,” among others.
Speaking to The West African Pilot News yesterday, the co-ordinator of the protest, Arowolo Solomon said it was aimed at ensuring that nothing interrupts the swearing-in of Tinubu on May 29.
He debunked reports by some media outlets that the protest was to pressure the opposition parties to congratulate Tinubu as the president-elect, saying it was rather to reject the calls for an interim government.
“It’s not true. We are not interested in anyone congratulating us. All that is necessary is for everyone to follow the due democratic process, we will definitely still come to the table to settle whatever differences we have,” he explained.
“It’s not a matter of congratulatory message; it’s about accepting defeat or going to court instead of the pressure for an interim government.”
He further dismissed the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the electoral process, adding “Our opinion may not be the same opinion for others. The beauty of democracy is that everyone has different opinions.
“The fact that we are of the opinion that it was free and fair may not be the same to others, but there are procedures to this.”