Former federal lawmaker, Ben Murray Bruce, has shared his perspective on the legal battle initiated by Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), respectively, challenging the victory of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, in the 2023 presidential election. Ben Bruce expressed his belief that Atiku and Obi should not have resorted to legal action in the first place.
This statement comes in the wake of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal’s ruling in favor of Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Atiku and Peter Obi had contested the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). However, their legal battle suffered a significant setback with the tribunal’s decision.
As the matter now heads to the Supreme Court for a final resolution, Ben Murray Bruce firmly advocates that Atiku and Obi should have taken a different approach. He pointed out that they could have followed the example set by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, who graciously conceded defeat to Muhammadu Buhari even before INEC officially announced the final results.
Ben Bruce emphasized that once the electoral umpire declares the winner of an election, there should be no need to prolong the process through legal battles. He stressed the importance of accepting the people’s verdict in the interest of democracy and the nation.
“We must follow the Jonathan doctrine and accept the people’s verdict in the interest of democracy and the nation,” Ben Bruce remarked, further stating, “Our elections don’t have to end in the courts.”
The PDP chieftain urged the aggrieved politicians to accept the tribunal’s verdict and prioritize national interest over self-interest. He unequivocally affirmed Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s status as the duly elected and undisputed President of Nigeria.