The Presidency has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of making wild and libellous allegations against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In a statement on Monday, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga accused the PDP and Atiku of raising false alarm over an allegedly compromised judiciary.
The Presidency stated that the PDP and Atiku Abubakar are overtly desperate to hang their woes in the court on President Tinubu and the judiciary, an important arm of government in Nigeria.
According to Onanuga, Tinubu is not planning to impose a one-party state as Atiku has serially alleged and his party and spokesman have now parroted.
He said President Tinubu’s record as a democrat par excellence and a strong advocate of the rule of law have been globally acknowledged.
Read the complete statement below;
PDP, ATIKU RAISING FALSE ALARM
In separate statements, the Peoples Democratic Party and the spokesman of Atiku Abubakar, its defeated Presidential candidate, threw caution to the winds as they assaulted the integrity of the judiciary and made wild and libellous allegations against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In the wake of the poor run of some elected governors of the party at the appeal court, the PDP and former Vice President and his spokesman have become overtly desperate to hang their woes on President Tinubu and the judiciary, an important arm of government in Nigeria.
In blaming others, Atiku and his party have failed to demonstrate whether they had done any soul-searching before going public with their weighty, specious, reckless, and irresponsible allegations.
While we do not hold brief for the judiciary, we urge Nigerians to discountenance the malicious allegations by the PDP and its candidate that President Tinubu as governor of Lagos, silenced the opposition and corrupted the judiciary and that he is planning to foist a one-party state on the country by appointing “loyalists” as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
President Tinubu is a democrat to the core. We make bold to say that as president, he has not interfered with the judgment of the judiciary. We had witnessed how under his watch, the PDP governor in Osun defeated the APC at the Supreme Court.
Similarly, the PDP Governor in Bauchi also won his case in the Appeal court, beating the APC.
President Tinubu is also not planning to impose a one-party state as Atiku has serially alleged and his party and spokesman have now parroted.
These allegations are deliberately aimed at unnecessarily heating up the polity and causing disenchantment in our country.
They exist only in the imagination of the PDP and the former vice-president.
Unlike Atiku Abubakar, President Tinubu’s record as a democrat par excellence and a strong advocate of the rule of law have been globally acknowledged.
His record of service as governor, which witnessed giant strides in various facets of the state, was responsible for the dominance of his political structure in Lagos and not by any undemocratic conduct, as Atiku Abubakar wants the public to believe.
In contrast, it is on record that Atiku Abubakar recently confessed about the electoral heist his party executed in the South West in 2003, in , which Tinubu survived out of the six Governors of the defunct Alliance for Democracy.
While Atiku and PDP are now crying wolf over the Appeal Court rulings on governorship polls in Plateau, Zamfara and Nasarawa States, we hasten to ask the former Vice President where he was in 2019 when the court ruled against All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State. The court then awarded all the positions won by the APC to PDP.
Where was Atiku also in 2019 when in Rivers State, the court stopped APC from fielding any candidate in both the Governorship and House of Assembly elections?.
Where was Atiku and the PDP in 2019, when on the eve of the swearing-in of Bayelsa governor-elect, David Lyon, the Supreme Court handed the victory of the APC to the candidate of the PDP, Governor Diri who was earlier rejected at the poll by the people of Bayelsa?.
Atiku and PDP then savoured all these court-handed trophies as sweet victories for PDP and celebrated the courts as protectors of democracy.
Now that the same courts are annulling PDP victories, based on the blatant violations of the law by the lawless party, the party is mudslinging the judiciary and President Tinubu.
We once again implore Atiku and PDP to stop their campaign of calumny and blackmail against the judiciary and the honourable judges and justices. Judgments are based on law and evidence. In election petition cases, they are based on the Electoral Act and the Constitution, not on sentiments and emotions.
It is irresponsible and a disservice to our country for the opposition, after failing to observe the letters and spirits of the law, to now turn around to tear down an important arm of our government.
Why I Won’t Sanction Wike, Makinde, Ortom, Others- PDP Chairman
In a bold move that has sent shockwaves through the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Umar Damagum, the acting Acting Chairman, has firmly rejected calls to sanction perceived ‘disloyal’ members of the party.
This includes prominent figures like former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who faced allegations of anti-party activities during the last election.
Despite mounting pressure from stakeholders urging Damagum to take punitive measures, the acting chairman, addressing the PDP Mobilisers Group in Abuja, made it clear that the National Working Committee (NWC) under his leadership would not suspend any party members. Instead, he announced the establishment of a committee dedicated to reconciling all aggrieved members.
Damagum emphasized the importance of reconciliation over sanctions, asserting that punishing members for alleged anti-party activities could potentially destroy the unity of the PDP.
He expressed his commitment to preserving the integrity of the party and avoiding actions that might destabilize it.
“They are always telling you these people are not doing the right thing. But when you are in a position of leadership, you are bound by a set of rules, and these rules even though they are itching you, you don’t apply them; not because of anything, but so that you don’t destroy the house,” Damagum stated during his address.
Addressing the criticisms against the NWC, Damagum explained, “Somebody has said sometimes when you are not knowledgeable about certain things and you go on saying about your thinking, it will always injure the sensibility of others to understand you.”
He went on to acknowledge the challenges faced by the party during the last general election, admitting that many members were involved in anti-party activities.
However, he discouraged the idea of mass suspensions, stating,
“If I said we should start suspension, I will end up suspending many people because they were involved in anti-party activities. So, please bear with us. We intend to keep this party together and to manage it. This is my mandate.”
Damagum also described the 2023 presidential election defeat as “most painful”, cautioning members of the party against a blame game.
He said, “I am very proud to say that this party was started by me as a driver. Today, I am the acting national chairman by the grace of God. I have never calculated that I will be given this title. I believe in this party, I believe that this party is the best in this country.
“The NWC has already come up and approved a 2023 election review and reconciliation committee. They will go and investigate. We’ll give them the mandate to form subcommittees. However, there is only one national committee that will review the 2023 election and also review from 2015 to 2019. This is so that at the end of the day when they bring the reports, we will meet and take decisions.”
Damagum, who admitted that many members were involved in anti-party activities at different levels, said, “If I said we should start suspension, I will end up suspending many people because they were involved in anti-party activities. So, please bear with us. We intend to keep this party together and to manage it. This is my mandate.”
LP Accuses INEC Of Defying Court Order For Forensic Inspection Of BVAS In Imo
The Labour Party in Imo has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is denying it access to BVAS used for the November 11 Governorship Election.
The party’s Chairman, Mr Callistus Ihejiagwa, who said this while addressing newsmen in Owerri on Saturday, added that the denial of access to the BVAS was in defiance of a November 26, 2023 order of the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Owerri.
Recall that applications for inspection of the materials were submitted to the INEC by the LP, PDP, YPP and APGA respectively.
Ihejiagwa said the forensic inspection of election materials including the BVAS is contained in the order of the Tribunal.
According to him, INEC had on Wednesday, denied availability of the BVAS for inspection, insisting that only the commission’s headquarters reserved the right to grant access to the BVAS for inspection.
He said the commission, however, made available only 65 out of over 5,000 BVAS machines for inspection but denied the LP’s team of forensic experts access to the machines.
He wondered why INEC would “deliberately frustrate the process of litigation “ in an election where it was only an umpire.
“Contrary to orders of court for forensic analysis of BVAS machines, an INEC official is reading out figures of accreditation from the machines without allowing us access to Certified True Copies of the card copies for our due diligence.
“ We have less than 24 hours to examine the BVAS machines, assemble and present our findings to the Election Petition Tribunal but here we are still awaiting access to the machines
“The Tribunal ordered for forensic inspection of the BVAS so the BVAS is specifically contained in the Tribunal order “, he said.
Also speaking, Counsel to the LP governorship candidate, Senator Athan Achonu, Mr Okwudili Anozie, emphasized that the tribunal’s order for forensic examination of the BVAS machines would help ensure that the machines have not been tampered with before and after the election.
He decried INEC’s disobedience to the order while restating the party’s confidence in the judiciary for the dispensation of justice.
NNPP Reaffirms The Expulsion Of Rabiu Kwankwaso From Party
The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the North East zone has reaffirmed the expulsion of Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
The party has accused him of causing internal turmoil and blaming him for the party’s recent woes.
Kwankwaso’s expulsion from the party came during a meeting of the NNPP North East executive and stakeholders held in Bauchi on Friday.
A communique released after the meeting stated that the stakeholders “reaffirmed the expulsion of Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso from the NNPP, accusing him of causing internal crisis in the party.”
The North East NNPP also responded strongly to the recent Appeal Court ruling against the party and Kano State Governor, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf. The governorship election petitions tribunal had voided Yusuf’s election, citing irregularities in the vote count.
Despite the legal setback, the NNPP North East leadership expressed unwavering support for Governor Yusuf. They urged party members and supporters nationwide to offer their “maximum support and prayers” to the embattled leader.
The communique, read by NNPP National Vice Chairman North, Dr Babayo Liman, further confirmed the dissolution of the Abba Kawu Ali-led National Working Committee. It also conveyed a vote of confidence in the party’s founder and life member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Boniface Aniebonan.
The North East NNPP also reaffirmed the election of Dr. Tope Aluko as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Engr. Mohammed Babayo Abdullahi as Secretary. They also confirmed the appointment of a new NWC under the leadership of Dr Agbo Major.
According to the communique, the acting state party chairmen for the North East zone are as follows:
Bauchi: Alhaji Umar Isa
Taraba: Kabiru A. Abdul
Adamawa: Alh Salmanu Abubakar
Yobe: Mal. Babangida Garba (acting)
Borno: Alh. Aminu Bukan Salihu
Gombe: Barr Ramby Ayaba
The North East Deputy National Chairman, Abdullahi Yalcabu, confirmed that “all the executive committee members and critical stakeholders of Northeast zone attended the meeting.” He further added that Engr. Mohammed Babayo Abdullahi, the board of trustees secretary, was also present.
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