By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Kaduna State chapter has said since the advent of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015, it has resorted to arm-twisting of electoral processes, dictating for INEC, using security apparatus to clamp down on dissenting voices and coercing the judiciary in a drive to pervasively claim seats.
The party lamented, “Today, Nigeria has sublimely metamorphosed from a cooperate enterprise to the state-of-nature, where those who controlled state power and state-owned resources are using it to undermine human rights, social contract and citizenship.”
Addressing newsmen in Kaduna on Sunday on its position on the recent supreme court judgment in Imo state governorship election, the state party chairman, Mr Felix Hassan Hyet said “Our position, however, is to stand in solidarity with the Imo people, the PDP INEC’s decision calling on the supreme court to correct its errors and reverse itself in view of the monument injustice done to the good people of Imo State and the denial of a mandate freely given the PDP by them.”
The party observed, “PDP feel shortchanged by the judgement of the Supreme Court and we are of the firm belief that the APC government is determined to get in the courts what they failed to get through the electoral process. We are aware that Sokoto, Bauchi, Benue and Kano is in the offing. Our party will not sit by idly and watch while electoral victories are snatched away from us through judicial pronouncements that are more of executive orders.”
The party noted, “Since the APC government came to being in 2015, the PDP has suffered immeasurable degrees of maltreatments of malignant proportion by the APC government. The recent judgments by the Supreme Court which ousted Gov. Emeka Ihedioha in Imo State in favour of Sen. Hope Uzodimma is a pertinent example, among other multitudes, how the mandates given to the PDP by the electorates, in many constituencies in Nigeria were queerly stolen by the APC-led government. It is shameful that, after four years in office, APC lacks the proficiency to endear itself to the hearts of the electorates, the party is being jettisoned;
“it resorted to arm-twisting electoral processes, dictating for INEC, using security apparatuses to clamp down on dissenting voices and coerced the judiciary in a drive to pervasively claim seats.
“The APC government in Nigeria is undemocratic and it is popular for its contempt for the rule of law. Therefore, the power of the Nigerian constitution and its supremacy and the veracity of the Electoral Act as a guide to credible election are relegated to the backdrop. The government lacks the propensity for the rule of law and it does not have respect for a legitimate process to institute a genuine government.”
The party lamented that it is excruciating the rate at which various institutions in Nigeria that are statutorily saddled with the mandate of conducting free and fair elections have dramatically turned to gerrymander tools by the ruling party, the APC.
“The security apparatuses, INEC and the latest inclusion, the judiciary are like an appendage appellation of today’s government. This view point became evident at the 2019 elections and post-election tribunals across the country,” the party added.
The party observed, “Sinisterly, our democratic practice has no recourse for the electorates because the potency of their suffrages have been undermined by the pliable nature of the variable electoral institutions, electorates freedom to chose their representatives, at will, have been aggressively rebuffed in various quarters and their will to institute a government that will pilot their affairs with human face through credible election have been embarrassingly stalled.
“So sad to note how our beloved country have drifted from a collective entity to a fiefdom, a land of feudal lords where powerful men prevailed over weak institutions at the chagrin of the common man. Our democracy is grossly in pains. The democratic gains that our great party, PDP, have lavishly given to this country, since 1999 are currently being dismantled in the most bizarre fashion.”
The PDP recalled that during its administration, many elections won by the PDP’s flagbearers were overturned at the tribunal. “For Hindsight, on 12 August 2005, the post-Election Tribunal set-up in Anambra State overturned INEC’s declaration and pronounced Peter Obi of APGA the authentic winner of the 2003 Anambra gubernatorial election. This decision was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal.
“In October 2010, Segun Oni’s of PDP election was nullified on the grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act. The AC candidate, Kayode Fayemi, was straight away sworn in as the duly elected governor of Ekiti State. And On 22 February, 2009 the Court of Appeal, sitting in Benin, declared Olusegun Mimiko of Labour Party to be the rightful winner of Ondo State against the incumbent, Olusegun Agagu of PDP who was running for the second term in office.
“The same scenario played out in Edo in 2007. On March 2008 the Edo State Elections Petitions Tribunal upheld Adams Oshiomhole’s petition, thereby annulling Prof Oserheimen Osunbor’s election. This verdict forced the governor to file an appeal in the Court of Appeal in Benin City, which he lost on 11 November 2008. The examples are numerous,” the party explained.
The party added, “Given the above perspectives, PDP’s government never ran a draconian system unlike the APC that is operating a garrison judicial system. For the benefit of comparative analysis, the victory in Zamfara has a different dynamics with all the cases that the tribunal presided over. In Zamfara, INEC declared that APC has no candidate because they contravened the provisions of the Electoral Act on the timely submission of candidates list which scenario was also replicated in Rivers State.”
The state party chairman, Felix Hassan Hyet said, “Kagarko and Sanga by-elections in Kaduna state are inching towards the dateline. However, it has come to our notice that the APC intend to use thugs, in their usually character, to threaten voters from coming out to their polling units to vote.”
The party called on all the institutions that are backed by law to conduct/provide security to adhere strictly to the principle and ethics guiding their profession.