Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Hon. Onofiok Luke has appealed to Nigerians not satisfied with the outcome of the 2023 presidential election to wait for the eventual pronouncements of the courts but must allow the swearing of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to hold on May 29.
Luke who spoke to Journalists in Abuja on Monday asked Nigerians to rally around Tinubu to begin the healing process in the land, stressing that the country was deeply divided along ethnic, religious and political lines.
It will be recalled that Tinubu’s opponents, Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) amongst others have filed different petitions at the election tribunal over the outcome of the February 25 presidential polls won by Tinubu.
Luke said he believed in the judiciary to do justice to the petitions, appealing to the political actors to be cautious of their utterances in the public.
He said: “I have confidence in the judiciary. We don’t seem to be in sync with the feeling of Nigerians. There’s angst in the heart of Nigerians for a whole lot of reasons and that angst is what you saw them express in the last election. And now that the election has moved to the tribunal, the eyes of Nigerians are on the judicial officers. So, we must be careful in the way we act. For us to call a spade a spade and to deliver a judgement that is according to law and I believe that the judicial officers would do the same.
“However be it, a winner has emerged and cases are in court. Let us allow the law and constitution to take its course. Let us now turn our energy to the courts and allow the government. I am part of the people that are kicking against the interim government. It will not portend any good for us. Let the president-elect be sworn in and to start his administration and let the courts do justice. Whatsoever the outcome, we have to begin a healing process. This country has been divided.
“The post-election comments of some political actors are not helping the healing of this country on all sides. We must minimize such comments. They are very inciting and those comments are sometimes very hurtful and they lack decency. I wonder what they would tell their children about the kind of political communications they come on radio and TV to spew. It does not encourage growth. Let us rally around the president. Bola Ahmed Tinubu has emerged as the president-elect. I am an absolute believer in the will of God. It is the will of God that he has emerged. Let us rally around him and see how we can make the country move on and become better. And then, those who are pursuing cases in court, let us allow Atiku, Kwankwaso, Obi, Sowore and the rest to continue to pursue the election petitions at the court. But let us begin to put our hands together to move this country forward.
“We are in crisis. Our reputation is not good in the international community and we have domestic issues, and economic issues. These issues need to be addressed as soon as possible. We have challenges in the health, security, and education sectors. We have challenges with the economy. Let us see how we can pull ourselves from this crisis and rally around the president-elect and move forward and then allow the cases to go to court. I am not a member of the APC but I am a Nigerian. I want peace. I want us to move forward as a country”.
Luke who represents Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State also favoured Senator Godswill Akpabio and Hon. Tajudeen Abbas for Senate President and Speaker of the House respectively in the incoming 10th National Assembly.
“I don’t like making religious comments publicly because it is a very sensitive issue in this country but as somebody of a Christian faith who believes in my faith just like I respect the faith of others, I think it is fair and just…God did not make a mistake in bringing all of us into this country. God brought us together ethnic wise, religiously wise to cooperate and coexist as one. So, if we have had a Muslim Muslim ticket, right now the position of the senate President should go to a Christian. Let us have the number three position in this country to go to a Christian.
“For me not only that, I have a bias because I need it to come from South-South. When I hear people talk about bias, I say let us look at competence. You need to balance the interest of the legislature and the executive to be a better leader of the legislature. You need to know what the executive thinks and what they want. You need to know what the legislature wants. What the states want and what the federal wants. By the grace of God, we have a man who has been a former governor of a state, a two-term governor, and a performing Governor. We call him the uncommon transformer. We have a man who had been a member of the federal executive Council. So, he knows the workings of the executive. We have a man who has been a commissioner in the State before.
“So, he knows the relationship between the chief executive and the members of the executive. We have a man who has been a minority leader of the Senate for the first time. A cool-headed man. A man who is jovial. So, what would we be asking for? So, let South South be given this opportunity to produce the senate president in the person of Senator Dr Godswill Obot Akpabio.
“When you come to the House of Representatives, those contesting for the Speakership have good credentials. They are bringing good credentials to the table. But for the complexity and dynamic of the 10th House of Representatives, give it to Hon. Tajudeen Abbas. First, look at his educational background. He has a doctorate degree. He is well-schooled and educated. Secondly, there are three major responses and functions of a legislator. One is lawmaking, the second is oversight. The third is representation. Take lawmaking for example. Today Tajudeen Abbas has the highest number of bills in the House. I think about 70. Out of that, 21 of those bills have been assented to by the president. That means he lives, sleeps, and thinks legislative business. For you to become a better manager of the legislature, you must be a better legislator yourself and you know what it means to turn out good legislation.
“In terms of representation, his people in his constituency respect him and see him as humble and down to earth.
Then, in terms of oversight functions, he is a member of the committee on judiciary and part of the strength we have had and part of the motions and bills we have is because of most of his contributions. So, he has what it takes. Moreover, the northwest should be able to produce him. I am not of that party. The party has what it takes but for me, the man with the towering credentials is Tajudeen Abbas”, he said.