- Secondus alleges plot by Presidency, APC to influence upcoming verdicts on Sokoto, Benue, Kano, Plateau
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
It was a show of anger and outpouring of vituperation at the 87th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, elders and stakeholders of the party called on Nigerians to protest against what they described as “threats to Democracy”.
This was coming as the National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, alleged that the APC was plotting to arm-twist the Supreme Court to make next Monday’s judgement to be against the PDP governors of Sokoto and Benue and favour the APC governors in Kano and Plateau states.
Speaking at the NEC meeting, the former vice president who made a u-turn as he he had asked PDP and sacked Imo Governor Emeka Ihedioha to accept the Supreme Court verdict, called on the party to mobilise against what he described as “threats to democracy”.
According to Atiku, “The founders of this great party, l, members of G34 and subsequently our great party fought and brought democracy and development to our great country.
“Our party governed very well from 1999 up to 2015. As true democrats, we conceded power to the opposition in the hope that it will further entrench democracy, development and unity. But alas, Nigerians have been proved wrong by the governing APC.
“It has become very necessary for us to mobilise Nigeria to resist the threat to our democracy, unity and development. Therefore, I will like to propose that a strong committee to review the last elections and recommend to the party needed reforms and address the challenges in the last election is setup forthwith.
“But what cannot wait Is that we should not take what has been happening in our democratic process from the role of iNEC, security agencies and the judiciary for granted. If we take all these roles for granted, that will be the end of our hard earned struggle including our founding members who are today not alive. What can we say we have done to 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 of today that the APC governing party is threatening”, Atiku stated.
In his comment, the chairman of PDP, Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jubrin, said the situation calls for war. He said that his attire to the meeting signifies war, stating that for a long time that he has not cried but he has been weeping since after the Supreme Court verdict.
In his comments at the NEC meeting, former minister of Health and Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof. A. B. C Nwosu lamented that the Democratic legacies built by the PDP is gradually being destroyed by the APC.
According to Secondus, “The National Working Committee, NWC, has credible intelligence that the Presidency and APC leadership are still arm twisting the Judiciary to ensure they deliver to them four PDP won states of Sokoto, Benue, Bauchi and Adamawa while keeping states like Kano we clearly won for them.
“We have demanded that the seven Justices that participated in the Imo judicial fraud should recuse themselves from the remaining cases involving the PDP.
“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, the Supreme Court they should be ready to embrace the consequences of their actions”.
He ended his speech by quoting the 3rd President of America Thomas Jefferson who said that “when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty. ” This is the point we are now as the APC is using the highest court in the country to legitimize injustice.”
Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, who read the communique of the NEC said, “Having witnessed the destruction of democratic values, ethos and principles; consistent breach of the 1999 constitution (as amended), the 87th NEC of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) decides as follows:
“Assures Nigerians that the PDP will protect and defend democracy and its institutions in our country.
“The PDP rejects the destructions of our democratic institution and values especially the independence of the legislature, the politicization of the judiciary and the compromising of our security and electoral institutions.
“The PDP notes with pains, the gross abuse of the rule of law, the muzzling of the civil society and advocates of free speech as well as ordinary Nigerians”, he said.
The PDP spokesperson further said that the party “totally condemns the utter desecration of judicial tenets and values, climaxing in the national embarrassment of the Supreme Court’s manufacturing of votes and donating same to the APC and its candidate, Hope Uzodimma, thereby robbing the people of Imo state, of the mandate freely given to Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as their governor.
“The PDP observes that this calculated injustice perpetuated by the Supreme Court has proven that the judiciary under Justice Tanko Mohammed is no longer the last hope of the common man but rather the LOST HOPE of the common man in Nigeria.
“The Supreme Court by its judicial summersault has eroded the faith and confidence, which Nigerians have in participatory election thereby showcasing that there will be no need for election in the future.
“The PDP stands with the people of Imo state and Hon. Emeka Ihedioha in all steps being taken to reverse this injustice and reclaim the governorship mandate stolen through the Supreme Court.
“The PDP assures Nigerians that, our party, through all available constitutional and legitimate means, including civil disobedience, will insist that this government must respect the rule of law and desist from influencing the judiciary, INEC and security agencies.
“The PDP will not allow the judiciary, security agencies and other institutions of governance to become departments of the APC”, Ologbondiyan said. .
The NEC meeting was attended by some PDP governors, former ministers, former governors among other stakeholders of the party.