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Keyamo kicks as Onaiyekan faults Tinubu’s swearing-in before tribunal’s verdict

Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, John Onaiyekan, has kicked against the swearing-in of the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, before the judgment of the election…

Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, John Onaiyekan, has kicked against the swearing-in of the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, before the judgment of the election tribunal.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 25 poll, but a former vice president and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) are contesting Tinubu’s victory at the tribunal.

Although the presidential election tribunal will commence hearing petitions on May 8, preparations for the May 29 inauguration are in top gear.

Speaking in an interview with Channels Television yesterday, Onaiyekan said Nigeria’s electioneering system ought to be reviewed.

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“There are cases in court that have not been disposed of. That is why we are in an anomalous situation. We have a president-elect whose election is being challenged and the court is handling it.

“I’m still waiting for the court to tell me who won the election. It doesn’t make much sense to be swearing in people when they are still in court.

“I know it has happened with governors but the outcome has really not been the best of all cases. I think we need to review our election process, so we do have a winner who will be sworn in and whom everybody would rally around.

“It is a pity that it is taking longer for the court to come to its decision. My problem is that the whole system of our election must be properly reviewed so that it would be easier for winners to emerge according to the wishes of the people.

“It is not right to have a system that is constantly contested. We should find out why every election is being contested,” he said.

Adjudication after swearing-in fuelling ‘do-or-die’ politics – Mimiko

Similarly, a former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, has said the current practice where winners were sworn in before the commencement of hearing and adjudication of cases arising from elections would continue to fuel ‘do-or-die’ politics in the country.

Mimiko stated this in his keynote speech at the Change and Development Forum organised by RCCG Coordinating Office/Dare Adeboye Foundation, themed: “Good governance and accountability, setting the agenda for Nigeria’s incoming administration.”

He recalled how it took him 22 months to reclaim his mandate in the Ondo State governorship election, while advocating for a system change to enable the adjudication of cases before swearing-in.

“I will never be persuaded or convinced to believe that we cannot complete adjudication before you swear in a candidate. If you know that you will never be sworn in, probably that will temper our propensity to embarking on do-or-die to win elections in Nigeria,” he said.

Stop embarrassing body of Christ over Tinubu – Keyamo

But reacting, the Director of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson of the APC Presidential Campaign Council for the February 28 poll, Festus Keyamo (SAN) asked Onaiyekan to stop embarrassing the body of Christ over Tinubu.

Keyamo in a statement posted via his Twitter handle said, “Dear daddy Onaiyekan, you know we all respect you a lot, but your political comments are becoming un-statesmanlike.

“A statesman who doubles as a man of God should strive to be fair to all. You didn’t say the same thing when Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and Buhari were all sworn in as Presidents when their cases were still before the courts.

“You have chosen to single out this President-elect @officialABA this time around because the candidate you and your other religious brethren openly supported lost the election and you all feel humiliated and embarrassed.

“The embarrassment to the Body of Christ is getting too much and no politician is worth dragging this dignified body into unnecessary political controversy. Is this too much to ask, Daddy?”

By Saawua Terzungwe (Abuja) & Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos)

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