Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule has appealed for calm in the state, urging the citizens to respect democracy and be law-abiding.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the Supreme Court verdict, which affirmed his election on Friday, Governor Sule thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the role he played in the apex court judgement, saying that the President has ensured fairness without due interference in the justice system.
The governor also expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court justices led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, for upholding his election victory in the March 18, 2023, polls, saying the justices had laid all issues related to the March 18 election to rest today.
“We must thank Mr President, that is what brought us here. We thank him for the role he has continued to play in all of these by ensuring that fairness is done without due interference, allowing the justice system to work the way it is supposed to work so we must express our appreciation to him for doing all that and now all the issues as far as elections are concerned are over today.
“As far as we are concerned, we have won at the Court of Appeal. We also won with the five justices led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun; we also had the five justices; they were in support of us, that is why,” Governor Sule added.
Accompanied by the former governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Almakura and the former chairman of the All Progressives Congress Party, APC, Abdullahi Adamu, the governor stated further that opposition reactions to the apex court ruling are not unexpected. He cautioned that irrespective of people’s objections, the Supreme Court judgement remains the final verdict.
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Addressing newsmen, Governor Sule said: “This is a state where we had 600,000 votes and we won with over 340,000 votes so you will know that over 200,000 people did not vote for us, so out of these 200,000, another 50 people are protesting somewhere, saying a thousand people are protesting somewhere, so you should know that it is a day that not everybody will be happy in every state.
“Where the Supreme Court passed judgement in every one of these states, you will find some people happy and some other people not happy.
“But I think people who understand what democracy is all about will understand that the Supreme Court is the ultimate and final; and those who appreciate and respect democracy should leave it right there.
“Protest or no protest will not change anything; the Supreme Court has already passed the judgement. In our case, when we lost at the tribunal, we told everybody nobody should protest; that is why nobody protested; that is the level of maturity you see from one political party to another.”
The governor extended an olive branch to his political opponents, urging them to join hands in building a better Nasarawa State.
“We call on our opponent without any grudges so that we can build our state. Nasarawa State is next to Abuja. Nasarawa State today is in the North Central, the only state that has a commercial quantity of crude oil and the only state so far with mineral processing plants. We already have one of the lithium factories, which is almost complete, and as you know, it is also a state where agriculture is flourishing,” the governor added.
The Appeal Court reinstated Governor Sule and held that the tribunal wrongly relied on the evidence of eight of the PDP witnesses, whose statements on oath the court said were not front-loaded alongside the petition.
Also, on Friday, the apex court’s verdict, read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, held that the PDP candidate’s appeal lacks merit
The Eaglesforesight gathered that the State Election Petitions Tribunal had earlier sacked the governor of Nasarawa State and declared his challenger, David Ombugadu, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the rightful winner of the March 18, 2023, governorship election.