Nigeria’s main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked it members to rise against the use of judiciary and security agencies “in desperate scheme to subvert the will of the people and destroy the nation’s democracy” by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
PDP said it is not ready to surrender the mandate freely given to it by the people in any part of the country, particularly in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Abia, Taraba and other states where it won in the last general elections.
Recall that governorship election petitions tribunal in Akwa Ibom state ordered a rerun of the governorship election in 18 local government areas of the state while the Rivers state election tribunal ordered a rerun of the election which produced Nyesom Wike as governor of Rivers state.
Also, governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will be meeting to discuss the implications of the judgment to the survival of the former ruling party.
“Let it be known, and clearly too, that no matter the strong-arming, threats and manipulations by the APC government, the PDP is not willing to, and will never surrender the mandate freely given to us by the people in states where we won in the last general elections, neither are the people of those states willing to allow sectional invaders to exert influence on those to be in charge of their affairs” the party said in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh on Sunday, October 25.
The PDP said the desperation so far exhibited by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government in manipulating sensitive agencies of state like the judiciary and the security to further its bid to take over the rich states of Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Delta is totally against the spirit of democracy and peace bestowed by the PDP in conceding defeat at the Presidential election, but instead, an affront to the people and recipe for crisis in the polity.
The party maintained that the prejudiced rulings by the Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states governorship elections tribunals, with their inherent contradictions, were a direct fallout of interferences from the APC and some elements within the office of the President of the Court of Appeal, adding that they should be held responsible should there be any break down of law and order in the system.
It also strongly cautioned against any interference in the Rivers and Akwa-Ibom cases at the appeal level as well as any further intrusion in the Abia, Taraba and Delta governorship election tribunals, which the APC is already boasting of controlling. The PDP said such would be a clear invitation to chaos in the land.
“In the last five months, after conceding defeat at the Presidential elections and other polls where we lost, Nigerians are witnesses to the fact that the PDP has remained calm and steadfast to its commitment to providing mature, decent and civil opposition with more interest on the peace, unity and corporate interest of our dear nation.
“However, the ruling party and the APC Federal Government in their dictatorial inclinations are much more interested in playing crude, selfish and sectional politics and trying to use manipulation of judicial processes to forcefully take over states where we genuinely won in the elections.
“Nigerians have noted APC’s definition of credible elections wherein governorship elections in Imo, Ogun, Plateau, Lagos and Yobe are all credible while those of Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Taraba and Abia are rigged and must by all means be annulled.
“In the light of the foregoing therefore, leaders of the PDP across the country are now converging on a consensus not to surrender our national destiny and fate to the whims and caprices of the sectional interests of the Daura and Bourdillon Mafia.
“We want all to know that this party is able, willing and now ready to call up our members and supporters to use all means within the limits provided by the laws of the land to resist this evil plan to decimate the PDP and opposition. The peace we seek is not that of a graveyard, it is such as guaranteed by a well-recognized democratic system that treats all as equals before the law, irrespective of partisan and political affiliations.
“We hereby raise a rallying cry to all our members and supporters of PDP nationwide, all patriotic citizens and all lovers of democracy to join the PDP in this fight to save our nation from the hands of the lying, deceitful and false prophets, who are bent on parading themselves as cruel conquerors of our democracy.
“Furthermore, we request the international community to note that never in the history of our democracy has the nation witnessed such a divisive and anti-people government, whose actions have so polarized the polity, and undermined national unity and cohesion, a development that spells doom for our democracy, if not checked.
“We are therefore duty bound to counsel President Muhammadu Buhari to be cautious of tendencies that provide avenues for the destruction of the nation’s democracy, which he is a huge beneficiary of.
“In the same vein, we call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed to note the looming danger and save the nation’s democracy and the institution of the judiciary by immediately checking negative actions emanating from elements operating within the office of the President of the Court of Appeal.
Earlier, PDP described the verdict of the governorship election tribunal in River and Akwa Ibom states as completely bizarre, unacceptable and part of the script by the APC to manipulate the will of the people.
Also, Tonye Princewill, a candidate of the Labour Party in the April 11 governorship election, has advised Nyesom Wike not to appeal the judgment of the governorship tribunal.