By Kola Ologbondiyan, Director, Media & Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organization
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today, makes a clarion call to all Nigerians to brace up for the February 16, 2019 Presidential election as the only way to defend and save our nation from the fascism being plotted by the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Nigerians are already aware that the APC and the Buhari Presidency are not serious with campaigns ahead of the Presidential elections. They know that the APC and its candidate, President Buhari are seeking ways to enmesh the election in crisis, stalemate the electoral process and pave the way for rigging and actualization of plots to perpetuate President Buhari in office.
With the prevailing state of our polity; the flagrant violation of our constitution, continuous attacks on institutions of democracy and principle of separation of powers, consistent abuse of human rights, erosion of personal freedom, uninhibited extra-judicial killings, illegal detention, attack on peaceful protesters, clampdown on the media and vocal members of the Civil Society, as well as the unleashing of brutality on innocent citizens, that have characterized the Buhari Presidency; it is manifestly clear that our nation is on a rapid descent into fascism, which we must all resist with our votes.
The PPCO urges all compatriots to note that any vote for APC is an endorsement of fascism and allowing President Buhari another tenure will be a pathway to full totalitarianism, where citizens would be treated as vassals in a conquered territory.
Today, our freedom and personal liberty as a people are under threat. Our rights as constitutionally guaranteed as citizens are about to be completely taken away. Our last lines of defence as a free people; our legislature and our judiciary are also under siege.
We are all witnesses to the unrelenting assault on the institution of the judiciary and the courts by the Buhari Presidency and the APC. This siege on the Judiciary has now come to a climax with the widely condemned attempt by the Buhari Presidency and the APC to forcefully remove the Chief Justice of the Nigeria, (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen.
In spite of widespread condemnation, President Buhari and the APC have refused to show remorse. If anything, they have carried on as if Nigerians are already a conquered people.
This ignoble act is with the view to replace Justice Onnoghen with a pliable CJN that will execute the plot to annex the court and use them to curtail freedom of expression and to silence opposition members as well as perceived opponents of the Buhari administration ahead of the February election.
Such attempt at annexations is to subject judicial officers under the control of the Attorney General to determine and even write judgments on political and human rights cases and cover atrocities of anti-democratic forces.
The world can recall how the Buhari Presidency, in a widely condemned ‘sting operation’ in 2016, used the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to hound and round up sitting Supreme Court and High Court judges in Nigeria.
Since that ‘sting operation’, our judiciary Nigeria has remained under siege with the agents of the Buhari Presidency and the APC directly interfering in cases and trying to direct the rulings of courts.
Nigerians and the world can recall also how agents of the Buhari Presidency and the APC, last year, besieged and attempted to forcefully remove the elected leadership of the National Assembly; the symbol of our democracy.
Nigerians will also recall how the APC and the Buhari Presidency used apparatus of state powers to seal the legislative complex, unleashed thugs to invade the Senate chamber, disrupted legislative proceedings and forcefully carted away the mace, the emblem of the sovereignty and authority of the people.
In our slide into fascism, Nigerians are daily falling victims of extreme torture, illegal detention, extra-judicial and arbitrary killings, forceful crackdown on peaceful protesters and mass burial by unrestrained agents of the state, as detailed in the 2017/2018 Amnesty International (AI) Human Rights Report.
In the same vein, there have been concerted efforts by the government to gag the media leading to the manhandling of journalists and invasion of media houses over reports considered unfavorable to government.
Furthermore, Nigerians can recall how the Buhari Presidency attempted to inject crisis into the electoral process with the delay in the presentation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) election budget and the refusal by President Buhari to sign the amendments to the Electoral Act which eliminates openings for rigging.
This is in addition to the widely condemned foisting of Mrs. Amina Zakari, President Buhari’s relation by marriage, as head of the collation of results of the Presidential poll as well as plot to use the Police as suppressive tool to intimidate voters and assist APC agents to unleash violence and manipulate the process, for which President Buhari is bent on retaining the overtly partisan Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris even when his tenure had expired.
This administration has turned out to be the most vicious in the history of our nation. Nigerians and the world must therefore rise in condemnation of this dangerous drift towards, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Idi Amin’s Uganda, Charles Taylor’s Liberia and Than Shwe’s Burma.
Perhaps, President Buhari has forgotten that Nigeria is a democratic state, and needs to be reminded that as a people, we have chosen democracy as a form of government with the personal freedom, liberty and rule of law that it guarantees. Nigerians will never accept any kind of draconian rule and dictatorial tendencies.
We therefore charge all Nigerians; all victims of injustice and brutality of the Buhari Presidency; all victims of the mindless killings encouraged by the insensitivity of the Buhari Presidency; all those impoverished by the corruption and incompetence of the Buhari administration and all lovers of democracy in Nigeria to get ready to defend our nation and save her from fascism by voting out President Buhari on February 16, 2019.
The February Presidential election is therefore a referendum for our freedom. We make a clarion call on Nigerians to vote in defence of our nation. We must vote in defence of our rights and lives as free citizens; we must vote in defence of rule of law and resistance of repressive forces and political bandits seeking to foist a fascist regime on our nation.
▪Ologbondinyan delivered this text at a press conference in Abuja