Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has condemned what he described as the targeting of opposition parties by the ruling All Progressives Congress-led government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Atiku’s observation comes with the sacking of three PDP governors and some members of the House of Reps elected under the PDP.
The former VP in a statement signed my his media adviser. Paul Ibe, noted that aim of the APC is to make Nigeria a one-party state.
The statement read in part: “The ideal notion of democracy does not just reside in a representative government but essentially rooted in the plurality of ideas. Thus, for a system to be seen as truly democratic, it must necessarily accommodate opposition and opposing views.
“Sadly and suddenly, we have seen a trend whereby the range of opposition engagement continues to be narrowed by the ruling party in Nigeria. Either through the electoral process where opposition parties are rigged out with brazen impunity, or during the post election court processes where the judiciary is conspicuously doing the biddings of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), it has become increasingly apparent that the democracy in Nigeria is in a state of ill-health.
“It gets more curious that all the states where the courts have made controversial declarations are states being controlled by the opposition political parties. From Nassarawa, Kano, Zamfara and now to Plateau State, where we are witnessing a situation in which what the ruling party missed out on Election Day are being delivered to them through the courts”.
Atiku also accused the APC of coercing people into joining the ruling party. He opined that Tinubu wants to replicate the Lagos State model where opposition only exists on paper, at the national level.
“It is even more worrisome that what is playing out now in the Plateau governorship election petition is a confirmation of the threat echoed by an APC lawmaker in a viral video that the ruling party will compromise the judicial process to ensure its ultimate victory in the courts. It, therefore, means that the times we are in are indeed ominous, and the journey ahead in rescuing our democracy from these buccaneering power grabbers is a long one. It also means that every man and woman of good conscience should come together for this common patriotic purpose.
“But we are not surprised by what is going on. In Lagos State where Tinubu holds sway as godfather, opposition became an anathema. Everyone including judges was forced to join his party. The few opposition members who managed to get elected were beaten to submission including at the Lagos State House of Assembly where the sole PDP member back in 2018 was suspended and arrested for gun running but mysteriously had the charges dropped immediately after he defected to the APC.
“Recently, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) withdrew a N135bn lawsuit it had instituted against an opposition senator from Anambra State less than 24 hours after he defected to the ruling party. These are the crude methods that Bola Tinubu has employed in order to reduce the ranks of the opposition and consolidate his hold on power”, the statement further read.