Segun Showunmi, a prominent figure in the Peoples Democratic Party, has emphasized that Atiku Abubakar, the party’s 2023 presidential candidate, opted for a legal approach to address his concerns at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal due to his commitment to democratic principles.
Speaking in Abuja during a discussion with journalists, Showunmi underscored the significance of the judiciary’s responsibility in delivering fair judgments, particularly in the context of the petitions challenging President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 election.
He pointed out that Atiku Abubakar had alternatives available to him but chose the path of respectability and civilization aligned with his democratic values. Showunmi expressed that Atiku’s actions were in line with his democratic beliefs, highlighting that despite potential alternatives,
Atiku upheld a democratic stance. Showunmi added that Atiku’s actions did not cause harm, emphasizing his democratic credentials and his decision to eschew tactics that could disrupt stability.
Regarding the judiciary’s role, Showunmi acknowledged its pivotal role in maintaining societal equilibrium. However, he noted that the judiciary’s influence is limited by the collective perception of the people. If the public perceives a fundamental issue, the judiciary has an obligation to address this and ensure the society comprehends the judiciary’s significance beyond its label as the final refuge of justice.
Reflecting on political turmoil in various African nations, Showunmi cautioned that when power dynamics infringe upon the people’s will, a reaction becomes inevitable. He urged the judiciary to recognize that safeguarding democratic will is its duty, reminding society that national unity holds more value than mere performance.
Showunmi invoked the historical unity of Nigeria’s diverse ethnic groups during its struggle for independence and implied that leaders, like President Tinubu, should prioritize rectifying illegality over asking society to endure hardships without addressing core issues.
He stressed that the judiciary, though seen as a separate entity, is intrinsically linked to societal dynamics, just like the families of judicial officials. Showunmi expressed the belief that aligning with the people’s will is akin to upholding divine principles.
He urged the judiciary to make judgments aligned with their conscience and the enduring impact of their decisions, suggesting that Nigeria’s actions are observed globally and righteous choices should not bring shame. Showunmi concluded by asserting that while democracy can be salvaged through judicial intervention, failure of the judiciary equates to societal failure.
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