Atiku Congratulates Senegal’s President-elect, Takes Swipe at INEC

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated Senegal’s President-elect Bassirou Diomaye, just as he took a swipe at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to him, INEC failed to abide by the law and its own guidelines as allegedly witnessed during the 2019 and 2023 presidential elections which Atiku both contested and lost.

In a statement, Atiku urged opposition parties in Nigeria to unite behind his call in order to dislodge the ruling All Progressives Congress.

He said, “Against the backdrop of recent military interventions in the West African subregion, the election of Bassirou Diomaye Faye as Senegal’s President-elect in the election of March 24, 2024 gives hope to the future of constitutional democracy in the region.

“For us in Nigeria and elsewhere, there’s a huge lesson to be learnt from the Senegal experience. It is an affirmation that democracy, which is anchored on the supremacy of the ballot, represents the best form of government. It is also possible for the electoral umpire to run an election on the basis of the law and its own guidelines that give confidence to all parties and the voters.

“Our experiences in both 2019 and 2023 show clearly that INEC performed below this expectation.

“Whereas in Senegal, the responses of the major actors and the citizens are a validation of the process of the election that voted for President-elect Bassirou Diomaye.

“It is important to note that last Sunday’s election in Senegal follows the trend of that in Nigeria in 2015 that the opposition can indeed be victorious in an election conducted by the ruling party.

“And for the opposition parties, the lessons are in agreement with my persistent call for our opposition parties to forge a coalition that is formidable enough to oust the ruling party if the salvaging of Nigeria is to stand any chance.

“Congratulations, President-elect Faye. It is my hope and prayer that your election will not only be hugely beneficial to the people of Senegal but also an inspiration to the rest of us in the West African subregion. -AA”

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