2019: PDP writes UN Secretary General, alleges plot to subvert democracy
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has petitioned the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterres, accusing the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of threats to democracy, rule of law and gross human rights violations. The letter dated April 30, 2018 and made available to newsmen in Abuja yesterday was signed by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus. In the letter entitled: “Threats to democracy, rule of law, basic freedoms and gross human rights violations by the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the opposition party alleged that there are orchestrated plans by President Muhammadu Buhari-led government through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigerian Police and other security organisations, to subvert and truncate the nation’s democracy. Besides, the opposition party alleged that the APC government has plundered the country’s economy.
It added that killings of innocent Nigerians across different states of the federation have become the order of the day while the Federal Government was doing nothing to enhance the security of lives and property in the country. The PDP pointed out that its government led by President Goodluck Jonathan had in 2015 superintended over a peaceful democratic transition of power from a party in government to the then opposition APC, after President Buhari was declared winner of the 2015 presidential poll by INEC. It said contrary to expectations that the current administration would build on the democratic gains recorded in 2015, the government is leaving no stone unturned in its determined efforts to frustrate the opposition, as well as intimidate and prosecute PDP leaders ahead of the 2019 polls.
The letter read in part: “Indications that the ruling APC does not intend to abide by the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria and the Electoral Act came to the fore in February 2018 when the National Executive Committee resolved to illegally extend the terms of the incumbent National Working Committee of the party to pave the way for the sole candidature of President Buhari contrary to the unambiguous provisions of Section 223 of the Nigerian Constitution on the tenure of the national working committee of a political party.
It has now emerged that the president and the ruling party are in collusion with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to manipulate the processes leading to and influence the outcome of the 2019 general elections. “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been indicted for registering and issuing Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) to millions of under-aged persons, particularly in Kano and Katsina states. INEC has refused to take decisive steps to restore the sanctity of its register, particularly in these states, but has rather made a puerile explanation of plans to investigate the allegation. The nation was petrified by the Commission’s Director of Publicity and Voter’s Education, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, who announced that the INEC registered minors because its agents were threatened by members of the communities in those states.
“The plan by INEC to ask the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to help them monitor campaign funds is clearly an illegal and Machiavellian way of suppressing opposition’s financial contributions and spending. It is a plot to detain, frame up, intimidate and illegally block bank accounts of opposition members under the pretext that they have been mandated by INEC to monitor campaign funds.
“We decry this raging intimidation of our party officials, members and supporters and call on the United Nations and the international community to stand up and condemn this drift towards stone-age despotism. Nigeria is a democratic state and we reject any attempt by anybody to suppress the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people, particularly, regarding the choice of how they should be governed.”