President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday provided him an opportunity to deflect the tension generated on that same day by the judgement delivered at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar had challenged Buhari’s victory at the February 23, 2019 presidential poll.
President Buhari, who stated this while receiving the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors and the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, in the State House, Abuja, said he would have “gone into trauma” if he had watched the judgment of the Election Petitions’ Tribunal and was thankful that his re-election was upheld.
The tribunal had in a judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Garba, dismissed the petitions of Atiku.
The president emphasised that it would have been traumatic for him if he had watched the judgment, which incidentally went on for several hours, simultaneously with the maiden and equally long FEC meeting in the State House on Wednesday.
“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,” he said.
According to him, while the judgement delivery went on for as long as nine hours, the first FEC meeting since the commencement of his second term administration also went on for as long as seven hours, describing the two episodes as an interesting coincidence.
Reiterating that watching such a long judgment would have been traumatic for him, Buhari thanked both the governors and the party chairman for paying him a congratulatory visit.
Buhari, who said he was busy deliberating on the memorandum on the 2020 budget at the FEC meeting when the judgment was being delivered, admonished his guests to ensure that APC as a party, was institutionalised so that after their exit from the seats of power, the party would continue to be relevant.
“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 your thing for nine hours, we were doing ours for about seven hours here. It is 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 you the chairman of the party and the governors is that we make sure that we really institutionalise the party, so that when we leave the stage the party will continue to lead,” he said.
In his remarks, Oshiomhole said they never had any doubt that Buhari won the election, arguing that the petitions of the PDP presidential candidate were thrown out by the tribunal one after the other,
“We never had doubts that you won your votes. All the issues raised by our opponents were trashed out one after the order by the Justices that sat on the panel,” Oshiomhole said.
Also speaking, Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum and governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, assured the president of the governors’ perpetual support.