PEPC Judgment and Its Impact on Nigeria’s Political Landscape”


PEPC Judgment- President Bola Tinubu’s recent departure to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit has ignited a nationwide debate about its timing and implications for the ongoing Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) in Nigeria. It’s worth noting that the PEPC has ruled in favor of President Tinubu. As President Tinubu embarks on a six-day official visit to Delhi, questions linger about whether this G20 engagement is a mere coincidence or a calculated move.

Background: Nigeria’s Quest for International Recognition

To comprehend the current situation, we must revisit a feature published six years ago by ThisDayLive titled “African Giant Can Fulfill Her Potential.” In this insightful piece, former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, discussed Nigeria’s exclusion from the G-20, attributing it to economic struggles and heavy reliance on oil revenue.

Carrington emphasized the need for diversifying Nigeria’s revenue streams by investing in agriculture, energy, and infrastructure. He questioned why Nigeria, despite being the 20th largest global economy, hadn’t received a G-20 invitation, while South Africa, with a smaller economy, had. This raised concerns about possible biases in international recognition.

Fast forward to 2023, Nigeria remains excluded from BRICS, despite hints of interest. Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria hadn’t applied for BRICS membership, emphasizing the importance of careful evaluation and consensus-building.

The Timing: PEPT and G20

President Tinubu’s departure for the G20 Summit coincides with the highly anticipated PEPT judgment day for petitions challenging his election, central to the fiercely contested 2023 general election. The President’s spokesperson revealed Nigeria’s active consideration of G20 membership, with President Tinubu’s participation as part of the assessment process.

The Questions: What Happens Next?

The timing raises crucial questions:

  1. Perception and Trust: The timing could undermine public trust in the PEPT process, potentially seen as a lack of interest or confidence in the outcome.
  2. Security Concerns: Given recent security alerts, the government might respond forcefully to any post-PEPT protests, raising concerns about potential clashes.
  3. Diplomacy vs. Protests: While awaiting the PEPT verdict, some advocate for diplomacy and restraint over immediate protests, emphasizing legal recourse.

In Conclusion: Balancing International Presence and Domestic Stability

President Tinubu’s G20 visit and the PEPT verdict in his favor create a complex situation in Nigeria. Balancing international presence with domestic stability and trust in the democratic process is vital. Nigerians must carefully observe the PEPT proceedings, engage in peaceful dialogue, and pursue diplomatic avenues to address concerns. Reforming the nation requires collective effort, steadiness, and clear-headedness.

President Tinubu’s Response to PEPT Judgment

President Bola Tinubu celebrated the recent PEPT judgment, reaffirming his commitment to building a unified, peaceful, and prosperous Nigeria. In a statement from New Delhi, he commended the tribunal’s diligence, professionalism, and Nigeria’s maturing legal system.

Tinubu urged all presidential candidates and parties to prioritize Nigeria’s democratic values over partisan interests, promising to exceed expectations through hard work and dedication.

Peter Obi’s Reaction to PEPT Verdict

Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, rejected the PEPT verdict validating President Tinubu’s victory. He announced his intent to challenge the judgment through the appellate process, stressing the importance of upholding the rule of law and the need for transparent electoral processes.

Obi also highlighted the significance of strong national institutions and called on INEC to transparently and fairly execute its functions.

APC Professionals Forum’s Appeal to Opposition Parties

The APC Professionals Forum urged opposition parties, specifically Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, not to escalate the PEPT judgment to the Supreme Court. They emphasized the need to accept the tribunal’s verdict, support the government’s development agenda, and prioritize national interests over personal ambitions.

The forum expressed confidence in President Tinubu’s leadership and pledged to engage with government agencies while educating the public on the APC’s promises and manifesto.

Minister Nyesom Wike’s Assessment of Peter Obi’s Supporters

Minister Nyesom Wike stated that Peter Obi’s supporters lacked a deep understanding of Nigerian politics. He emphasized the influence of ethnicity and religion in Nigerian politics and noted the complexity beyond competence in determining election outcomes.

Reactions on Social Media:

Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) expressed admiration for citizens contesting the PEPT judgment and emphasized that democracy belongs to citizens, not politicians or regulators. She called for continued scrutiny of the judicial process.

MissPearls (@MissPearls) penned an open letter to “Obidients,” urging unwavering commitment to reforming Nigeria. She emphasized that the fight is not just about Peter Obi but about the nation’s future.

Davido (@davido) provided a succinct perspective on Nigerian elections, highlighting the significance of rugged determination in the political landscape.

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