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Judiciary under Buhari, Tanko no longer last hope of common man – PDP

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…Threatens nationwide ‘civil disobedience’

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has threatened nationwide civil disobedience over what it described as dangerous drift in the affairs of the nation.

The party, still smarting from the loss of the Imo State governorship seat to the All Progressives Congress (APC) through the Supreme Court, demanded a total overhaul of the nation’s electoral process.

Rising from an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Friday, the PDP said it has already put the necessary machinery in motion to ensure that the apex court judgement on the Imo election was reversed.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said the PDP ceded power to the APC in 2015, hoping that the then opposition party would further entrench democratic development in the country.

Atiku, however, said it’s regrettable that instead of building on the democratic structures they inherited in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC have continued to act in manners that threaten the nation’s democracy.

“It is has become necessary for us to mobilise Nigerians to resist the threat to our democracy, unity and development. Therefore, I will like to propose a strong committee to review the last elections and recommend to the party needed reforms to address the challenges in the last elections be set up forthwith.

“But what cannot wait is that we should not take for granted what has been happening in our democratic processes from the role of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and the judiciary.

“If we take all these roles for granted, that will be the end of our hard earned struggle, including that of our founding members who are today not alive.

“What can we say we have done for their struggles as they lay in their graves. Therefore, as long as we are alive, it is our responsibility to reincarnate the struggle they led that brought about the democracy today that the APC government is threatening”.

Also speaking at the meeting, the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, said the party had credible intelligence indicating that the Presidency and the leadership of the APC were arm-twisting the judiciary over the remaining governorship election cases pending before the Supreme Court.

Secondus listed affected states to include Sokoto, Benue, Bauchi and Adamawa where the victories of the PDP are being challenged at the apex court.

The party chairman had, on Thursday, called on the Supreme Court justices that presided over the Imo case to recuse themselves from the remaining cases.

“We know that the APC and President Buhari have taken our civility for weakness and inability to act. The Presidency has even abandoned governance amidst myriads of challenges in the land and prefers to be joining issues with us as main opposition party, a deliberate policy to divert attention from their inept leadership.

“We have made it abundantly clear that since they have chosen to make injustice law, using the highest court in the land -Supreme Court, they should be ready to embrace the consequences of their actions. This is the point we are now as the APC is using the highest court in the country to legitimise injustice”.

In a communique issued shortly after the meeting, the party regretted what it described as the destruction of the nation’s democratic values, ethos and principles.

The PDP also bemoaned what it considered a breach of institutions of governance, particularly the nation’s constitution and vowed to protect and defend democracy and its institutions in the country.

The communique further stated, “We reject the destruction of our democratic institutions and values, especially the independence of the legislature, the politicisation of the judiciary and the compromise of our security and electoral institutions.

“We note with pains the constant abuse of the rule of law, the muzzling of the civil society and advocates of free speech as well as ordinary Nigerians.

“We totally condemn the utter desecration of judicial values, climaxing in the national embarrassment of the Supreme Court manufacturing votes and relating same to the APC and its candidate in the Imo governorship election, thereby robbing the people of the state of their mandate freely given to our candidate, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.

“We note that this calculated injustice has made the judiciary under the CJN, Tanko Mohammed, no longer the last hope of the common man but rather the lost hope of the common man in Nigeria.

“The Supreme Court by this judicial summersault has eroded the faith and confidence of Nigerians in participating in elections and showcasing that there will be no need for election in the future.

“We assure Nigerians that the PDP through all available constitutional means, including civil disobedience, will insist that this government respect the rule of law, and desist from influencing the judiciary, INEC and our security agencies.

“We will not allow the judiciary, legislature, security agencies and other institutions of government and democracy to become departments of the APC”.

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