By Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary, PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) congratulates Nigerians on the occasion of this year’s June 12 Democracy Day.
Our party urges all compatriots to use the occasion to reflect and redouble their efforts in the collective quest for the re-entrenchment of true democracy and its tenets of rule of law, freedom, tolerance, dialogue, peaceful co-existence, justice and the sanctity of our electoral process.
The PDP however holds that it is a national tragedy that our Democracy Day is being celebrated under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration that have desecrated all our democratic values and despoiled our electoral processes just to have itself in office.
The party insists that the Buhari Presidency and the APC cannot celebrate Democracy Day when they are still overburdened by the guilt of their questionable presidential electoral victory.
The PDP invites Nigerians to note how President Buhari’s address clearly shows a disregard for the tenets of democracy as he (Mr. President) had no clear commitments or assurances on fundamental issues of constitutionality, rule of law, separation of power, justice, fairness, free speech and rights of citizens, which are the hallmarks of democracy.
Mr. President also had no regrets for the manipulations, infractions and violence that characterized the 2019 general elections, under his watch, for which the nation now has an unprecedented 766 election petitions, including the highly manipulated Presidential election.
President Buhari did not express any form of remorse for the barefaced constitutional violations, assault on institutions of democracy, particularly the legislature and the judiciary; human rights violations, assault on the media and the general siege mentality in the polity under his watch.
It is sad that on a day like this, Mr. President dwelt on false performance claims and had no soothing word for millions of compatriots that have been subjected to the worst form of economic misery, that they are now resorting to suicide and slavery mission abroad.
He also had no words of hope for the victims of escalated insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and bloodletting in various parts of our nation.
How can this administration superintend over a Democracy Day celebration when it has questions of constitutional violations, electoral manipulations, media clampdown, victimization of opposition, emasculation of free speech, brutalization, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention, as already detailed in various reports, including those by the United States Department of State.
It is disheartening that the same electoral manipulation, violations and injustices for which the icon of June 12 Democracy Day, Chief MKO Abiola died, have brazenly taken center stage under the APC misrule.
Today, just like on June 12, 1993, our citizens are despondent, particularly over the rigging of the February 23, 2019 Presidential election as their quest for a people-oriented and inherently democratic leadership to move our nation forward was frustrated, consequent upon which our party and our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are seeking justice.
The PDP, however, urges Nigerians not to despair but continue in their aspiration for the retrieval of the stolen presidential mandate at the tribunal so that the nation will have a truly democratic and purposeful leadership for the good of all.