- Storm EU, UN offices, French Embassy
- Want Nigeria’s democratic institutions preserved
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday continued its protest in Abuja with visits to the offices of the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and French Embassy, appealing to them to help ensure that the Federal government preserves the nation’s democratic institutions and ensure the votes of the people count at all times.
The protest by the leading opposition party, which began at about 10am yesterday was led by its Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Nazif Suleiman, National Secretary, Senator Ibrahim Umaru Tsauri and other national officers.
Their first point of call was the EU office in the Central Business District, CBD, Abuja, where the party leaders submitted their petition, detailing all their prayers and demands.
The PDP, in a petition, specifically urged the international bodies to press on the Federal government the need to preserve democratic institutions and ensure the votes of the people count at all times.
They further reminded the international organisations that most of their reports on election observations in the country recently have turned out negative, asking them to urge the Federal government to urgently review and sign an electoral bill that will ensure that the votes of the people count.
Addressing journalists after the submission of the petition at the European Union, Senator Suleiman Nazif, Deputy National Chairman (North) of the party expressed the party’s dissatisfaction with the intimidation of the legislature and judiciary which has made it very difficult, if not impossible, to have a credible electoral system.
Senator Nazif demanded that the judgement in Imo state governorship election be revisited, reviewed and reversed so as to deepen democracy in the country.
His words, “We are not happy, we are not satisfied with the way democracy is being run in Nigeria. We have come here to complain because we have realized that the National Assembly is being intimidated by the executive.
“The judiciary is being arm twisted, the rule of law has become a mockery and we thought it wise to come and lay our complaint because they no longer listen to anybody.
“That is why the Peoples Democratic party decided to reach out to the international community to lay out complaint with respect to the electoral act that has not been accented to up till now. This is five years since the inception of this administration.
“You are aware of the systematic collapse in our electoral processes, the way elections are being conducted. In Kogi, we saw what transpired in the last election.
“Nigerians have seen for themselves what the opposition party is going through.
“We saw what happened in Bayelsa, we saw what happened in Imo with respect to the Supreme court judgement and we are calling for a review of that judgement and we believe that with the amount of pressure from intentional organisations, I think the right thing should be done”, he said.
Similarly, the National Secretary of the party, Senator Ibrahim Tsauri, while answering questions from journalists at the EU office, said, “Democracy is being derailed in this country. Democracy in Nigeria has been built on five pillars: one the media, two the electoral umpire – INEC, three the security agents, four the judiciary, five the international community.
“These are the pillars that support democracy in Nigeria. If one of these pillars collapses, democracy will derail on that side.
“Out of the five, only two are left, election umpire is compromised, you all know it. Security agents are part and parcel of APC government. Judiciary is being threatened and no body has any confidence in the judiciary again. The only ones now left are the media and the international community.
“The international community, any where there is going to be election, there are some monitors, they go and monitor, they bring in their reports, most of these reports are negative.
“This is why we came to the international community to tell them that this is the expectations of Nigerians from them and we want them to do exactly what is expected of them to do.
“In Nigeria today, if you talk about security, it is zero. When Buhari came into government he said that he is going to fight corruption, he was going to intensify on economy and then security, none is working now.
“This government does not listen to any voice except the international community, that is why we are here”, he said.
Some members of the of the PDP were earlier led, exclusively, into the inner reception area at the UN, EU and French embassies where they submitted the petition.
However, the officials of the three embassies declined comments on the visit.
Some members of the party who were part of the delegarion were members of the party’s National working committee and National Assembly members including the party’s National Youth Leader, US Ude-Okoye, National Woman Leader Mariam Waziri, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, Hon. Jones Onyeriri, Hon. Mark Gbilla, Mariam Waziri, Hon. Ajibola Murano and other party members.
It would be recalled that the PDD had embarked on similar visit to the American Embassy and the United Kingdom High Commission about two weeks ago, to press for a review and reversal of the Imo state judgement that removed Emeka Ihedioha of PDP as the governor of the state and replaced him with Senator Hope Uzodimma of the All Progessives Congress (APC), who came fourth at the polls