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Politics of Thursday, 2 November 2023


S’Court Verdict: Why Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso must merge to save democracy ahead of 2027

Opposition parties have been urged to merge ahead of the 2027 presidential polls Opposition parties have been urged to merge ahead of the 2027 presidential polls

Following the Supreme Court's verdict on the 2023 presidential election affirming President Bola Tinubu's victory, opposition parties have been urged to merge ahead of the next election cycle in 2027.

This appeal was made by the United Action Front of Civil Society (UAFCS) via a statement made available to on Wednesday, November 1.

Recall that the apex court dismissed the petitions of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi on the premise that they lacked merit.

All seven presiding justices of the apex court unanimously agreed upon the ruling on Thursday, October 26.

Criticisms over Supreme Court's verdict

The decision, however, got criticism from the parties involved, legal practitioners and political critics.

Most notably, Atiku vented his displeasure over his evidence against Tinubu that the apex court ignored. The PDP bannerman also slammed the appointment process of justices of the apex court, stating that they are now selected without merit.

Similarly, a retiring Justice, Dattijo Muhammad, also expressed his concern over the omission of two geo-political zones in the presidential election appeal panel.

He critiqued the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola, for failing to discharge his duties judiciously.

Justice Dattijo stated his concerns at his retirement validator event to mark an end to his 43 years as a judicial custodian.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer and senior advocate Femi Falana stated that the judiciary is not supposed to determine the winner of an election if INEC get their act right.

He stated the outcome of the 2023 general election is a testament that Nigeria has a long way to go in its electoral system.

Call for opposition merger ahead of 2027 polls

Further reacting to this verdict, the UAFCS noted that top opposition like Atiku Abubakar (PDP), Peter Obi (LP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso (NNPP) must ally to save democracy in Nigeria.

The group said: "We wish to call on leading opposition leaders in the country, such as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Mr Peter Obi, and Dr Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso, among others, to immediately rise up and unite to rally opposition forces in Nigeria to resist heightening impunity and recklessness in the governance of Nigeria, especially in defence of the future of the country's democracy as done in other advanced democracies around the world."

The group also emphasised that without an intense, involved, and active political opposition in any country, the effectiveness of democratic governance will diminish, particularly as the FBI starts releasing the President's files today in the distant United States of America.