Ahead of tomorrow’s presidential election, the two leading candidates in the race, President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have expressed what their dispositions would be should they lose the election. Both presidential candidates spoke at a separate session of a two-hour town hall programme for presidential candidates and their running mates, tagged ‘The Candidates’, in Abuja.
President Buhari ap-peared on the question and answer show on January 16, while Abubakar was the show’s guest on January 30. Fielding questions from the moderator of the programme, Kadaria Ahmed, President Buhari was initially evasive when asked if he would concede defeat if he loses as he was unwilling to address the possibility of it because of the support he believes he enjoys among Nigerian voters. But when pressed for an explicit answer by the moderator on whether he would quit office if he loses the February 16 election, Buhari said it’s not going to be a new thing to him if he loses. The President then recounted the number of times he had lost at the presidential elections.
Buhari said: “That wouldn’t be the first time I lose election. I tried in 2003, and I was in court for 30 months; 2007, I was in court for 18 months; 2011, I was in court for eight months. And I went up to the Supreme Court.
“The third time, I said, ‘God dey,’ and the fourth time, God and technology came in, the PVC and card readers, you know, the opposition took it for granted.”
On his part, Atiku, who was also responding to the very final question before drawing the curtain on the interaction on if he would accept the result of the election should he lose, said he would accept if the election is credible.
He replied: “If elections are adjudged to be free and fair and credible, why not? I have lost elections before.”
Atiku first contested the presidential election in 2007 on the platform of the now defunt Action Congress (AC). He lost the election to Yar’adua of the PDP.