People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said that it is a national tragedy that the national Democracy Day is being celebrated under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration that has allegedly desecrated all the democratic values and despoiled the electoral processes just to have itself in office.
Greeting Nigerians on democracy day, the party said that President Buhari’s speech clearly shows a disregard for the tenets of democracy as he 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.
PDP, in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan urged Nigerians 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 the electoral process.
PDP said: “It is a national tragedy that our Democracy Day is being celebrated under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration that has desecrated all our democratic values and despoiled our electoral processes just to have itself in office.”
The party said 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.
“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, the 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 centre stage under the APC misrule,” PDP said.
Comparing June 12, 1993, and what is obtainable today, the party noted that just like the years past, the citizens are despondent, particularly over the alleged rigging of the February 23, 2019, Presidential election.