The pushback against the call for an interim government increased yesterday.

A PRO-DEMOCRACY group – The Patriots in Defence of Democracy – has slammed leaders of opposition parties seeking to abort the inauguration of elected leaders, saying they were unpatriotic.

It argued that following the conclusion of the general elections, the next step was not the establishment of an interim government, but the inauguration of democratically-elected leaders.

Similarly, the South West Agenda (SWAGA’23) told opposition parties to perish the thought of getting the presidency through the back door if indeed they nursed such ambition.

Agents of the opposition, mainly the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) have been heckling the winner of the February 25 presidential election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him President-elect a month ago.

Co-Convener of The Patriots in Defence of Democracy, Mr. Donald Ayibiowo, told reporters in Abuja at a solidarity rally tagged “In Defence of Democracy”, that the result of the February 25 Presidential election had come to stay.

Explaining that the rally aimed to correct the wrong narratives about the Presidential/National Assembly elections won by President-elect Tinubu, Ayibiowo said: “The call for the interim government is condemnable, unpatriotic and should be rejected by all men of goodwill.

“Political parties have contested elections and winners have emerged. Due process of law is being followed in resolving whatever dispute may have arisen from the election.

“It may not have been the best of elections, but it was credible and the majority of Nigerians are happy; section 139 of our Constitution says whoever is aggrieved should go to the court.”

Convener of the group, Tosin Adeyanju, added that the solidarity rally was to show that those protesting against the election and Tinubu’s emergence as President-elect were not in the majority.

Adeyanju, who is the Secretary of APC Support Group’s Directorates of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, said: “We are therefore here to tell Nigerians that the election was free, fair and credible and that Tinubu has the support of the majority of Nigerians.

“We will be here (Unity Fountain) celebrating his victory, eating, drinking and counting down to May 29, his inauguration date.”

Former National Students’ leader, Segun Mayegun, said the group would defend the mandate Nigerians freely gave Tinubu, adding that it would also not allow his election as President-elect to be annulled.

Another member of the group, Dr. Halima Usman, urged Nigerians to accept the outcome of the presidential election, saying it was “free, fair and credible by the Electoral Act and guidelines.”

Aslo in Abuja, the National Chairman of SWAGA’23, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, accused the PDP and LP of polluting the public place with campaign of calumny.

He said: “SWAGA’23 has therefore watched with keen interest and bated breath the rabid misinformation, threats of violence, protests, fake news, deliberate falsehood and blackmail ongoing in our polity, on social media and conventional media spaces all aimed at jeopardising the transition process and our nascent democracy.

“However, the dust raised at the election is yet to settle and it is so majorly because of individual and group perceptions and the various acts and subterfuges of key players, contestants and followers about the outcome of the polls and the wish that such outcomes could be upturned in their favour.

“The hard truth is that in every contest, there must be winner(s) and loser(s). In the instant case, winners have been announced and certificates of return have been issued.

“As far as the conduct of the elections is concerned the declarations and issuance of certificates can only be undone by the court (Election Petition Tribunals) upon presentation of concrete facts and evidence to the contrary in accordance with the Provisions of the extant Electoral Act.”

The SWAGA’23 chief deplored deliberate falsehood, fake news, doctored video clips and other damaging audio and visual materials deployed against Tinubu during the electioneering campaign.

He reasoned that the motive behind the opposition parties’ avalanche of “venomous campaigns” against Tinubu was to gain undue political advantage and voter empathy.

“Unfortunately for our traducers these attempts collapsed like the proverbial pack of cards and the results can be seen in the wide margin of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s win across Nigeria and the failure of the opposition at the polls.”

Adeyeye also flayed the plethora of court cases instituted by opposition parties seeking the disqualification of the APC candidate from the poll but many of which had been decided in Tinubu’s favour.

Source: The Nation Online News website-: