.As Tinubu, Shettima, APC leaders meet lawmakers-elect in Aso Rock
. Pro-Tinubu supporters take protest to Villa, warn Atiku, Obi
Obiora Ifoh, Abuja
The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, on Monday evening admitted that the conduct of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly poll was not ‘perfect.’
Adamu made the statement while giving his speech at the parley of APC National Working Committee with the president-elect, Bola Tinubu; vice president-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima and members-elect of the National Assembly.
The closed-door meeting, which did not commence until about 2.48 pm was held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
Among the dignitaries spotted at the event were Shettima; Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Senator Godswill Akpabio, among others.
The development is coming a few days after disgruntled members of the NWC called for the reformation of the party and his resignation to balance the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket of the incoming administration, which has generated tension prior to the 2023 elections.
Speaking at the event, Adamu congratulated all the elected political officeholders, saying they deserve the joy of victory after winning the February 25 elections.
The embattled APC chairman, however, conceded that the polls that produced them were flawed.
He said, “I very heartily congratulate all the distinguished men and women elect. I salute you all. You are the new team Nigeria. From May 29 this year, the burden of our national unity, peace, and development will rest on your shoulders as a team.
“It is fair and honourable to admit that the February 25 elections were not perfect. We did not set out to conduct perfect elections.
“World history has no instances of perfect elections. Like all other democratic nations, we set out to conduct free, fair, and credible elections. This we did.
“I am proud to say we achieved this feat and delivered on the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari to the people. For the first time in living memory in respect of our elections, there were no allegations of vote-buying and outcry over all the other ills associated with the conduct of our elections. Rigging may not be dead, but it has been decapitated. Our democracy is maturing, and we are maturing with it.
“From the results of February 25, 2023 general elections announced so far by the electoral umpire, INEC, the APC won the presidency, clean and clear, and a majority in both chambers of the National Assembly.
“We chose not to rout the other political parties because they are our partners in our national progress and development.”
Also, The leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has convened a meeting for senators-elect and members of the House of Representatives-elect at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima were among those in attendance.
The meeting held behind closed doors
according to a source who was in attendance said became necessary to avoid a repeat of the 2015 scenario that produced Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara as President of the Senate and Speaker respectively against the wish of the party leadership.
Top government offices that will be zoned include the Senate President and deputy, Speaker of House and deputy as well as leaders and whips of both assembly and their deputies.
In attendance at the meeting are APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, APC National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC).
Journalists are however barred from covering the meeting.
Meanwhile, a group of protesters under the aegis of The Natives has warned the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party LP, Mr Peter Obi, against intimidating judiciary and the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC over their grievances regarding the outcome of the presidential election.
The Natives was reacting to the various protests against the outcome of the presidential election which saw Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress APC emerge as President-elect.
Both candidates of the PDP and the LP have rejected the results, accusing INEC of manipulation, even as protests were taken to the INEC headquarters.
But protesting what they tagged intimidation of INEC and the Judiciary during a “Thank You Walk” to the Presidential Villa on Monday in Abuja, The Natives in their numbers, led by its Supreme Leader, Hon. Smart Edwards, said supporters of APC and Tinubu will no longer take lightly the intimidation by the supporters of Peter Obi (Obidients) and supporters of the Atiku Abubakar (Atikulators).
The rally which had representatives of National Association of the Nigeria Students NANS and other various youths groups in attendance temporarily paralyzed movement of vehicles from the Federal Secretariat to the Presidential Villa on Monday.
Edwards who described PDP as a national rigging organization, said; “The Obidients should understand that Asiwaju is a political juggernaut and election strategist. They were all part of the plan because the candidature of Peter Obi was an asset to the APC. The Obidients made Tinubu’s victory easy, they all made it possible. Ordinarily, it should have been Obi or Tinubu. Tinubu was not in the best position to steal the election but he planned well and worked vigorously for the victory.
“We also have a message for the PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Your Excellency, it is your time to test the courts and not to intimidate the courts. It is your time to retreat and retire, or reset and re-contest again if your party is not tired of you.
“Your inability to be consistent in a party like Bola Ahmed Tinubu, shows it is all about you alone. No sir, the Supreme Court is not about you, the Appeal Court is not about you, even the Tribunal is not about you, it is about the rule of law.
“So, today we are putting the nation on notice that no one will be allowed to intimidate the Nigerian Judiciary any longer, we will not entertain it. These judges and the judiciary are the most crucial part of the hope that democracy holds.”