Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, described President Muhammadu Buhari’s Democracy Day broadcast as an “unpardonable “ slap on the country’s democracy.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the President in his broadcast did not give any assurances on electoral reforms and credible election, which is the hallmark of democracy.
It stated that President Buhari failed to appreciate the fact that the progress of any country is hinged on credible elections, equity, justice and respect for the rule of law. The opposition party alleged that the President had no “democratic scorecard “ to present on the day he set aside to celebrate the country’s democracy.
“Our party stresses that President Buhari’s silence on the values of democracy as well as the myriads of violations under his watch has further vindicated its stance and that of majority of Nigerians that the Buhari administration has no regard for democracy and is not prepared to uphold its tenets in our country.
“Our party invites Nigerians to note that Mr. President’s speech had no space for Chief MKO Abiola. This only goes to show that the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have no regard for Chief Abiola and the essence of June 12, but only used their nomenclature to gain selfish political capital.
“It is scandalous that on a day like this, President Buhari had no assurances on electoral reforms and credible election, which is the hallmark of democracy.
“President Buhari’s failure to express any commitments to electoral reform in his 38-minute pre-recorded address shows that his administration has no plans to guarantee credible elections in our country.
“Also, Mr. President had no words of assurance towards respect for our constitution, particularly the principles of separation of powers, federal character, equality, equity, fairness, transparency and respect for the sensibilities of our federal structure.
“Furthermore, President Buhari had no words of commitment on how to tackle the constitutional and human rights violations under his watch, including reported intimidation and brutalization of citizens, disobedience to court orders, arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions, extra-judicial killings as well as hounding of opposition and dissenting voices,” the PDP stated.
The opposition party further stated that President Buhari and his handlers sought to divert attention from the alleged failures and violations associated with the present administration by “taking the nation on a merry-go-round of recycled false performance claims that are not backed by any empirical or verifiable data,” the PDP stated.
According to the party, Nigerians were shocked that while bandits were on rampage in Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Borno, Kogi and various parts of the country, even on the eve of his broadcast, President Buhari claimed that his government has secured the nation.
“It is even more distressing that Mr. President opted to use the COVID-19 pandemic to make excuses for the attack by the bandits even as he had no soothing words or decisive assurances for the victims beyond a cold passing comment lacking in expected human empathy,” it stated.