- PDP asks INEC to speak out, lambasts Oshiomhole
- APC govs tackle opposition, deny procuring judgement
Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Supreme Court Ousted governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, saturday said despite the outcome of the case, which sacked him last Tuesday, his faith in Nigeria, her democracy and the judiciary remained unshaken.
This is as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Nigerians to speak out on the development, because the verdict portended danger sign for democracy and elections in the country.
Secondus also condemned the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole for allegedly supporting injustice even as the PDP promised to request for a review of the case by the Supreme Court, while also staging a protest tomorrow, Monday, to register its displeasure about the state of things in the country.
Meanwhile, the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has described the statement credited to the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the Supreme Court judgement on Imo governorship election was ‘procured’ as contemptuous and disrespectful to the country’s democracy.
Ihedioha, who spoke when the National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP paid a solidarity visit to him, said despite what has happened, he still has tremendous faith in Nigeria, her democracy and the judiciary.
He said he was though still waiting for answers over the manner the Supreme Court reached its judgement, he insisted that “The Supreme Court ruling will not shake my faith in Nigeria and democracy but instead, strengthen my resolve as an individual,” adding that no one should celebrate his ouster but reflection.
He advised the leadership of PDP to remain resolute in their quest to ensure the deepening of democratic ideals in the country.
“The God that we worship, we are faithful believers in God and God does not sleep. This will make history in many ways and so this is a historical process, historical action, and I am sure there will be historical answers at the end of the day.
“I want to assure you that we will remain resolute and committed to the ideals of our great party. And I want to say that that event will not put into question our faith in the Nigerian nation. It will not question our commitment to democracy, it will rather strengthen our resolve to match forward and make Nigeria a greater nation.
“And I am certain that from the events of that day, Nigeria will emerge a stronger and greater country. I want to urge you to continue to work with all lovers of democracy across board so that we can all put our heads together and match forward. This is not the time to celebrate. I pity anyone, who is celebrating that sad event. If anyone is celebrating, that person is not a student of democracy. Our forefathers worked so hard to get us to where we are, and that is indisputable.
“So, at a time like this, what are we bequeathing to the future generation? Our children are asking questions that have not yet been answered and the facts speak for themselves. I hope they will be addressed. It is a redefining moment; it is a time for sober reflection, because to my own understanding of lawmaking, it is about precedents, it is about reference, and so we need to be guided on how to move forward,” he stated.
While reaffirming his faith in Nigeria, he said, “I remain strong in faith in our country, strong in faith in our democracy, and strong in faith that the institutions of our democracy will always remain strong and guided that our actions of today will define the events of tomorrow.
“This is a replica of the kind of attention the event of that black Tuesday, 14th January resonated across the country. We are as shocked as yourselves. It was never anticipated. All legal pundits and democratic watchers never imagined and anticipated, so for us, it remains a mystery.
“But we take solace in the Book of Ecclesiastics 3:1 that to everything, there is a season and time for every purpose under heaven. I believe that that event will define obviously our democracy. I am certain that the judiciary and electoral system are well aware that they are on trial.
“And what is fundamental about this is that the facts of the matters as relating to Imo State governorship election is that the foundation of our democratic processes, the elections in Imo were closely monitored, well advertised and everybody in Nigeria followed it through.
“The results were very clear, the electoral umpire still have the results, and INEC has stated clearly that the results in question and the figures are not summing up. It is not about Emeka Ihedioha, it is not about Imo State; it’s about the future of our country and democracy. It’s about what do we do tomorrow. Do you go into an electoral process without having an idea? It has to be resolved one way or the other.
“I am calm and we are calm, and that is why you see in Imo, there is calmness. The calmness is coming out of shock; it is coming of belief. It is coming out – fact that people are saying let us still see, can this be possible? We are waiting for answers and I believe there will be answers,” he stated.
Earlier, Secondus said, “With deep pains in our hearts, still grieving since on the 14th. Right from the bottom of our hearts, we are communicating to our creator and we believe that all Nigerians are doing the same. It is no longer politics, elections are over; we are talking about good governance.
“We are not going to joins issues with those, who have deliberately – knowingly undermined our democracy, because some of them don’t even know that we are no longer in the politics of bitterness, rancour and bad blood,” he said.
Secondus posited that, “All over the world, people are moving from one stage to the other. We are convinced in our hearts that the truth and only the truth can save this nation. Some people believe that every issue should be trivialised, so, when we speak, you hear them coming against it without calming down to look at the depth of out statements to see whether there are merits or no merits. We are a nation governed by laws.
“When we find ourselves in this situation, we must ask questions and we are a nation among all the other nations of the world and under one God. And a time comes that a people must speak the truth and everything is not about politics.
“In the case of Imo State, we have more questions than answers, because we can’t see the figures adding up. These are the questions agitating our minds and the minds of Nigerians. I want to appeal to our brothers, who are on the other side that they should stop trivialising these issues. They are of fundamental importance in nature.
“References are made in Sokoto, Rivers and Zamfara States. You cannot compare what happened in those states with Imo. The other ones are intra party. Let them come out and tell us what really happened, from the Tribunal, to the Appeal court up to the Supreme Court in the 388 polling units.
“What we seek in the case of Imo is for the Supreme Court to review and I believe that God will touch them to review it and they will reverse it in the interest of our nation so that we don’t celebrate the situation we found ourselves.
“Very eminent people are not speaking out. Today, it is at the door of Imo, tomorrow it will be at the door of another person, so people must speak out. The truth is what we are seeking. We are not against speaking on very respected individuals; we are saying that the figures are not adding up. Can they look into it again?” the national chairman stated.
Lambasting Oshiomhole for attempting to politicise the Supreme Court judgement on the Imo governorship, the PDP in a statement of by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described Oshiomhole’s comments as loathsome for hauling insults and gutter language on Nigerians, including PDP leaders, in his desperate bid to divert public attention from the perversion of justice in favour of APC.
The party said Oshiomohole’s desperation to blur public agitation against the injustice further confirmed that APC was in league with Justice Mohammed Tanko-led Supreme Court in perverting justice in the Imo governorship election judgment as well as the heinous plots to use the court to take over other PDP-controlled states of Bauchi, Sokoto, Adamawa and Benue.
“We have reliable information that certain Justices of the Court have been blaming APC leaders and the Presidency for compromising and dragging them into the disgraceful plots; the reason Oshiomhole now desperately seeks to politicise the issue and divert public attention as a stop gap measure.
“This attempt is indeed dead on arrival as the PDP, standing with the generality of Nigerians and lovers of democracy all over the world, will not relent in mobilising the citizens in pursuit of an end to this and many other injustices that pervade our nation presently.
“Of course, Oshiomhole and Justice Tanko Mohammed are reminded that, as stated by Thomas Jefferson, ‘when injustice becomes law, resistance become duty’.
“Nothing, not even the ranting of a character like Adams Oshiomhole, can stop over 180 million Nigerians from speaking out against injustice particularly at the Supreme Court, as injustice to one is injustice to all.
“Nigerians can recall that since Oshiomhole found his way as National Chairman of APC, he has contributed nothing to the development of politics and democracy except promoting injustice, encouraging looting, fuelling crisis and violence, elevating thuggery as a talent and fouling our public space with gutter language, hate speech, meddling and quarrelling.
“We are not surprised, because his former lieutenants have told the world that thuggery is his area of strength in politics. However, we counsel Oshiomhole to learn that politics is about respect for the rule of law and good governance. It is different from thuggery and quarreling, which he has now become notorious for.
“Indeed, the PDP agrees no less with the description already in the public that the minds of certain individuals are as their outward looks. Our respected and patriotic leaders will therefore not be distracted by a political thug, who can only find space in a party like the APC, where hoodlums, fraudsters, certificate forgers and compromisers of the courts are critical stakeholders.
“In spite of all the attacks, the PDP will still not be deterred but will remain focused with the generality of Nigerians in our irrevocable determination to take all steps necessary to reverse the injustice on Imo as well as stop the APC on its trail to use the Supreme Court to take over states lawfully won by the PDP.”
The PDP insisted that it would not stand down its for a review and reversal of the injustice done in the Imo State governorship election by the Supreme Court, saying, “On this, we stand!”
Opposition Party Insists on Case Review, Stages Protest Monday
Meanwhile, the party has slated tomorrow, Monday, for a protest match against the Supreme Court verdict, which nullified Ihedioha’s election as the Imo State governor.
A statement late last night by the National Organising Secretary of PDP, Col. Austin Akobundu, stated, “In line with the approval of the National Executive Committee of our Great Party, the National Chairman has directed that a peaceful, civil and non-violent protest be organised in the Federal Capital Teeritory to register the displeasure of the Party against the current state of affairs in the country, especially the miscarriages of justice of the Supreme Court against the lawfully elected Governor of Imo.”
According to its schedule, the party stated that the protest would takeoff from its Legacy House, Maitama district, Abuja at 9 in the morning, describing it as a “clarion call to all lovers of Democracy as we join hands to save our dear Nation.”
APC Govs Deny Procuring Judgement
The verdict drew the ire of the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus and other leaders of the party who described the judgement as “miscarriage of justice” and also alleged that the judiciary is “heavily compromised” and has “lost credibility”.
In a statement yesterday, however, the Chairman of the forum and the Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu said that the allegations were depressing coming from supposedly democratic leaders who should ordinarily be in the forefront of protecting and defending the judicial institution as the sanctuary of our democracy.
He stated: “It is contemptuous and disrespectful to our democracy. This is most unfortunate and condemnable. We call on Nigerians and all lovers of democracy in the country to rise to the defence of our democratic institutions, especially the judiciary.
“We must prevail on the PDP leadership and all politicians to exercise restraint by demonstrating unalloyed loyalty and respect for our democratic institutions, particularly our judiciary, which is the most important pillar of democratic governance.
“To allege that a judgement delivered by Supreme Court Judges is “procured” simply because it does not favour the PDP is an invitation to anarchy.”
Bagudu said that the case of Zamfara where APC won the election but the Supreme Court in its wisdom nullified all its votes and declared PDP candidates as winners was another experience.
In addition, Bagudu noted that APC members have lost many cases, and even though in their views differ from the judgement delivered, the ruling party did not disparage the judiciary, yet its views of the judgement differ from the court.
The APC governors therefore declared their abiding faith in the judiciary, stressing that it would at all times respect all decisions of the Judges at all levels no matter the circumstances.
Bagudu stressed that the ruling party and its members believe in the sanctity of the judicial institution as the last hope for justice for our people.
He unequivocally state the APC governors resolve to work with all democrats in the country to ensure adequate protection of democratic governance by respecting all judgements from the courts.