•Lagos party elders say Nigerians have lost confidence in Judges
Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Segun James in Lagos
The leadership crisis within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has deepened as Pro-National Working Committee (NWC) supporters held rallies to support the National Chairman of the party, Ambassador Illya Damqgum, describing him as a silent achiever.
In another development, elders of the PDP in Lagos have expressed sadness that the judiciary has lost the confidence of the people, lamenting that it was no longer the last hope of the people.
Last week, a group of Atiku Abubakar’s supporters took over the national secretariat of the PDP, chanting anti-establishment songs, and called for the sack of the NWC led by Damagum.
The protesters claimed that by the actions of the NWC, they had damaged and ruined the PDP.
But, in a counter solidarity in support of the leadership of the party, a Pro-NWC group led by Dabo-Itibo Marmmet claimed that the earlier protesters were working to ensure that Nigeria becomes a one man state.
According to the group identified as Concerned PDP League, “If the PDP is not United, the country will slide to a one party state. Those working for the removal of Damagum and dissolution of the NWC are enemies of democracy, who are working to destroy the unity of the party. Damagum-led NWC has worked to stabilise the PDP as a leading opposition party.
“We are working for Damagum and the NWC to remain in office and stabilise the party,” he said, describing how the NWC under the acting national chairman has been able to work towards the reconciliation of all warring groups within the party
However, the Lagos PDP elders led by Chief Olabode George, former Deputy National Chairman, included Mrs Onikepo Oshodi, former National Woman Leader; Senator Kofoworola Bucknor Akerele, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State and Dr Chris Akintoye in a statement issued after a meeting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
With the statement titled, “When Nigerians No Longer Trust Third Estate of The Realm, Anarchy Looms,” they stressed that, “These are not the best of times for the Judiciary in Nigeria.”
They pointed out that pronouncements from courts must be infallible, saying the situation where people began to question the judgement of a particular court showed that there was crisis in the polity.
They reiterated the conflicting judgements coming from a few of the judges had shaken the belief of many Nigerians in the judiciary.
The statement, which was read by George partly reads, “Today, what is oozing from the third arm of government in the world’s most populous black nation is offensive to millions of Nigerians. And when the Judiciary is compromised, one way or the other, in a democratic system, then democracy is gone.
“Many Nigerians believe that members of the Executive and Legislature are already living in a different planet. So, they see the Judiciary as the last ‘Estate’ standing in the ‘Realm’. In Nigeria, there are hundreds of Judges upholding the sanctity of the judiciary. They not only give judgements but they deliver Justice. Nigerians still believe in them.”