The media aide to Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Paul Ibe, said the Appeal Court judgment that sacked the governor of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang, showed that democracy in Nigeria is in a state of ill-health.
The NewsTimes247.com reports that the appellate court, on Sunday in Abuja, in its judgment by the three-member panel led by Justice Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, cited Section 177 of the constitution, held that the governor was not validly sponsored by the PDP during the election.
She held that the party violated a court order, directing it to conduct a valid congress in that state’s 17 Local Government Areas.
Atiku’s aide, in a statement on Monday, noted that the ideal notion of democracy does not just reside in a representative government but is essentially rooted in the plurality of ideas.
Ibe declared that for a system to be seen as truly democratic, it must accommodate opposition, alleging that the range of opposition engagement continues to be narrowed by the All Progressives Congress in Nigeria.
“Either through the electoral process where opposition parties are rigged out with brazen impunity, or during the post-election court processes where the judiciary is conspicuously doing the biddings of the ruling APC, it has become increasingly apparent that the democracy in Nigeria is in a state of ill-health,” he added.
Ibe explained that it gets more curious that all the states where the courts have allegedly made controversial declarations are states being controlled by the opposition political parties, adding that “from Nassarawa, Kano, Zamfara and now to Plateau State, where we are witnessing a situation in which what the ruling party missed out on election day are being delivered to them through the courts.”
Atiku’s aide said this threatens not just Nigerians’ faith in the electoral and judicial system but evinces that the country’s democracy is compromised.
He stated, “It is also crystal clear that the ruling party will not desist from this inglorious ideology of ‘snatch, grab and run away with power.’
“It is even more worrisome that what is playing out now in the Plateau governorship election petition is a confirmation of the threat echoed by an APC lawmaker in a viral video that the ruling party will compromise the judicial process to ensure its ultimate victory in the courts.
“It, therefore, means that the times we are in are indeed ominous, and the journey ahead in rescuing our democracy from these buccaneering power grabbers is a long one. It also means that every man and woman of good conscience should come together for this common patriotic purpose.
“But we are not surprised by what is going on. Opposition became an anathema in Lagos State where Tinubu holds sway as godfather. Everyone including judges was forced to join his party. The few opposition members who managed to get elected were beaten to submission including at the Lagos State House of Assembly where the sole PDP member back in 2018 was suspended and arrested for gun running but mysteriously had the charges dropped immediately after he defected to the APC.”