Nigeria’s major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asserted that the country was fast sliding into totalitarianism and anarchy under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, alleged that attempts by a cabal within the presidency to emasculate institutions of democracy in the country, especially the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the judiciary.
The opposition party called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to speak out and denounce any attempt or action capable of stifling democracy, rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.
‘The PDP alerts of attempts and actions of a cabal within the presidency to emasculate the institutions of democracy in the country, especially INEC and the judiciary in the desperation to foist a one-party state on Nigerians.
‘This unfolding anti-democratic scenario is not only evident in the manipulation of elections but also in the conflicting judgments by electoral courts, especially some election appeal court panels which judgments are in conflict with the express provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the Electoral Act, 2022, INEC’s Guidelines and Regulations for elections.
‘What is more worrisome is that these obnoxiously contradictory judgments are targeted at the PDP to the effect that elections that were clearly won by PDP candidates are snatched away at the courts and awarded to defeated candidates of the APC contrary to the provisions of the law.
‘Aside from the preponderance of such ugly scenarios in Plateau State, the conduct and outcome of certain election petitions in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Nasarawa and other states of the nation where PDP was robbed of victory through the courts are pointers to a systemic emasculation of the opposition in a bid to impose a one-party state and pave way for totalitarianism in the country.
‘This situation is a clear and present danger to the sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy, unity, political stability and corporate existence as a nation, which is capable of breeding agitation, citizens loss of confidence in the system, restiveness, anarchy and chaos.
‘Democracy must be allowed to thrive as the government of the people as expressed by their Will at elections. Any intrusion, breach, violation and/or transgression against that expressed Will as being witnessed today under the APC is a clear recipe for serious political crisis and portends grave consequences for our country.
‘Our party urges the chief justice of Nigeria and the president of the Court of Appeal to step in and assert the independence of the judiciary at this critical time for the defence and sustenance of democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria.
‘The PDP charges Nigerians and, indeed, all lovers of democracy across the world to rise to the occasion, speak out and take urgent legitimate steps to defend, protect and preserve our hard-earned democracy from the onslaught of the APC.