Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammmadu Buhari has confessed that but for Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting, he would have gone into trauma awaiting the outcome of the judgement.
The election tribunal upheld President Buhari’s victory at the February 23 presidential election.
The tribunal said that Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party’s presidential candidate failed to establish the claim of electronic transmission and collation of election results from different levels in his petition.
President Buhari spoke while receiving the governors of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, who came to congratulate him on his victory at the tribunal.
In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, he quoted Buhari as saying: “Good conscience fears no evil report. I was unperturbed all along, because I knew Nigerians freely gave us the mandate. We are now vindicated.”
But speaking Friday, Buhari said: “On this judgement, again it was a fabulous coincidence that it came almost the same time the first Federal Executive Council meeting of this government was taking place. It lasted about the same time with the judgement. I thank God for that because I think I would have gone into trauma or something. So, I was busy trying to concentrate on the memo.
“The first memo was on the budget and it took more than five hours. So, while you were doing their thing for nine hours, we were doing ours for about seven hours here.
“It was a very interesting coincidence and I thank God for it because I would have been in trauma or something of that sort.
“So thank you very much for sharing the glory with us. What I will say to your congratulations, the chairman of the party and the governors is that we must make sure that we really institutionalise the party so that when we leave the stage, the party will continue to lead.”
In his remarks earlier, the National Chairman of the ruling party, Adams Oshiomhole, said the president’s victory was never in doubt.
He said: “We never doubted that you won convincingly. You earned it and the tribunal affirmed that. It is unfortunate that they questioned your credibility. How can they say you didn’t go to school?
“The PDP has no one among them in their midst, one who attains various commanding positions in public service and came out unstained.
“The APC family supports you wholly and will continue to support you as you deliver your promises to Nigerians.”
On his part, the chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, said the judgement had silenced Buhari’s critics.
He said: “We are here to celebrate your victory and that of our party at the tribunal. I say big congrats to you.
“We don’t know how it happened, but it was televised live for Nigerians to see for transparency. It silenced all doubts. We never doubted your positions and now the law has affirmed it too.
“It was noteworthy that you were not even distracted as you chaired the FEC on day of judgement.”
He commended Buhari’s Social Investments Programmes, rail, infrastructure – all taking place under you administration.”
Others present on the occasion were Simon Lalong of Plateau State who is also is chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, Mohammed Inuwa of Gombe, Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State among others.
Also at the meeting were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and some presidential aides.