Abdulsalami Peace Panel meets Buhari over Atiku’s grievances

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The National Peace Committee (NPC), led by former head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, met over the weekend with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where it tabled concerns raised by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhadji Atiku Abubakar, over the results of last Saturday’s presidential election. Specifically, Buhari was declared as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), having polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat Abubakar, who garnered 11, 262, 978 votes. But Atiku rejected the results and he has already constituted a legal team to challenge the election results in court.

Addressing State House Correspondents after the meeting, which lasted about an hour, the former head of state, acknowledged that the results of the elections have raised the political temperature owing to the irregularities and violence that marred the polls, with at least 39 recorded deaths from the exercise. He however, said he was pleased with the news that the PDP has decided to seek redress in court. “As much as we have grievances, l am glad the PDP said they are going to court to challenge the process. l think this is the right way to go about it and l hope and pray that they will maintain this.” 

Abubakar confirmed that members of his committee met with the presidential candidate of the PDP, who raised some concerns. He said: “The presidential election result has raised a lot of dust and the people feel aggrieved. Yesterday, l met the PDP presidential candidate and his party in other to ensure that this committee’s concern is about Nigeria.

“Atiku presented his grievances and his observations. He did not present any conditions; he gave his complaints, which we have come to discuss with Mr. President to see what can be done. “And in order to listen to their grievances and what they think has gone wrong, we are here today to see the President to relay the fears and concerns of the PDP and he listened to us and has taken note of what we have told him.”

Abubakar, who was in the Villa with the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Mathew Hassan Kukah, and John Cardinal Onaiyekan, urged Nigerians to always explore peaceful means, regardless of the outcome of elections. 

“This country is very, very important to all of us. We are not talking about self-interest; we are talking about the interest of the country. I keep saying, whenever there is violence, we are not going to see violence in Ikoyi, in the Villa and you will not find violence in the various government houses in this country. It is always the poor people that get to kill themselves,” he added.

Member, National Peace Committee (NPC), Rev Sani Atsu (left); Co-Chairman, NPC/Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah; Chairman, National Peace Committee/former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar; President Muhammadu Buhari and member NPC/Catholic Bishop of Abuja Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan meeting with the President in Abuja