Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, staged a protest at the United Nations (UN) office, European Union (EU) and French embassies in Abuja over state of affairs in Nigeria.
The PDP in separate petitions submitted to the international bodies accused the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led and urged them international community to prevail on the Nigerian government to persevere the country’s democratic institutions and allow votes to count in elections.
The PDP hinged its call on reports of election observation missions in recent elections, which had been negative, stating there was urgent need for electoral reforms.
PDP Deputy National Chairman (North), Suleiman Nazif, who led the protest, alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government was intimidating the judiciary and legislators making it impossible for democracy to thrive.
Nazif, in an interview with journalist, said the PDP was unhappy with the way the country was being administered adding that the party was unrelenting in its request for a review and reversal of the Supreme Court judgment on the Imo governorship contest.
“We have come here to complain because we have realised that the National Assembly is being intimidated by the executive. The judiciary is being armtwisted, the rule of law has become a mockery. Because they no longer listen to anybody, that is why the PDP decided to reach out to the international community to lay complaint with respect to the Electoral Act that has not been assented to five years since the inception of this administration.
“You are aware of the systematic collapse in our electoral processes; the way elections are being conducted. In Kogi, we saw what transpired in the last election; Nigerians have seen for themselves what the opposition party is going through. We saw what happened in Bayelsa, we saw what happened in Imo with respect to the Supreme Court judgement. We are calling for a review of that judgment and we believe that with the amount of pressure from intentional organisations, the right thing should be done.”
PDP National Secretary, Umar Tsauri also alleged that democratic values had been eroded by President Buhari and the APC.
“Democracy in Nigeria has been built on five pillars: the media, electoral empire -INEC, the security agents, the judiciary, the international community. These are the pillars that supports democracy in Nigeria. If one of these pillars collapses, democracy will derail. Out of the five, only two are left; the election umpire is compromised, you all know it. Security agents are part and parcel of APC government. Judiciary is being threatened, and nobody has confidence in the judiciary again. The only one left is the media and the international community. The international community, anywhere there is an election, they monitor and bring in their reports. Most of these reports are negative for Nigeria. This is why we came to the international community to tell them ‘this is the expectations of Nigerians and we want them to do exactly what is expected of them to do,”’ Tsauri said.
In the aftermath of the sack of Emeka Ihedioha as Imo governor by the Supreme Court, PDP leaders had embarked on series of protest in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and other parts of the country seeking a reversal of the verdict.
Meanwhile, the opposition party has alleged that the inaction by President Buhari’s administration on the spate of killings, banditry and kidnapping across the country was an indication that the Presidency has abandoned Nigerians to their fate.
The party, in a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, said it was disturbing that all the Presidency could offer in the face of the killings of citizens, particularly last Sunday carnage in Auno, Borno State, was condolences without any decisive actions to track the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“In normal climes, with the situation in Auno, where insurgents viciously massacred citizens, a concerned President would have immediately left everything, wherever he is, and return home in solidarity with our nation as well as victims and lead from the front in confronting the insurgents in line with the demand of his office and the promise he made to Nigerians.
“But no! All the Buhari Presidency could do is to issue statements of condemnation, without a corresponding decisive action, thereby, leaving citizens at the mercy of insurgents, marauders and kidnappers.”