President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday congratulated governors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) after their respective victories at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
In a statement by Mr Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, the president acknowledged the role of the court in sustaining the mandate of political office holders. He urged the affected governors not to consider their contenders as enemies.
The Supreme Court affirmed the election of eight governors on Wednesday. Five of those governors are of the APC while the other three are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The APC governors whose elections were validated are those of Kaduna, Lagos, Katsina, Nasarawa, and Ogun. The PDP states whose cases were also decided are Akwa-Ibom, Ebonyi and Oyo.
According to the statement, Mr Buhari commended the governors for emerging victorious and described the litigations as distractions.
“I am pleased and proud that you have successfully concluded your legal battles, and now is the time to concentrate fully on fulfilling your campaign promises after the distractions caused by the litigations.
“One of the great things about democracy is that it gives us avenues for redress through the courts,” Mr Buhari said, adding that “I am pleased that you used this opportunity to defend your mandates.”
The statement urged the APC governors to consider their political opponents’ actions as an exercise of their rights and to also ensure good governance.
“With the legal battle now over, it is my hope that you won’t rest on your oars. You should work ever harder to deliver good governance in the next remaining four years of your tenure. I wish you God’s guidance, more wisdom and good health in the performance of your exalted responsibilities,” the statement said.
Mr Buhari’s main challenger, Atiku Abubakar, had asked the court to declare him winner oi the 2019 elections, describing Mr Buhari’s emergence as fraudulent.
That case was, however, dismissed by a panel of the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Muhammad Tanko.