11 June 2018

Nigeria: Award On Abiola Doesn't Make You a Democrat, PDP Tells Buhari

Photo: The Guardian
MKO Abiola.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),yesterday told President Muhammadu Buhari that he doesn't become a democrat because he bestowed a posthumous national award on the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election and democratic icon, Chief MKO Abiola.

The opposition party, which said it fully supports, any honour done by the nation to the memory of Chief Abiola and all that he stood for, however rejects the inclination by President Buhari to use the occasion to posture as a democrat and desperately seeking to garner votes ahead of 2019 Presidential election.

A statement by the PDP national spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, explained that the Buhari Presidency has unapologetically violated and still violating, with gross impunity, all democratic tenets for which Chief Abiola suffered, died and is being honoured.

"Rather than apologising for his roles in those dark ages, President Buhari recently boasted of violation of human rights during his regime as military head of state including locking up citizens in prison without trial; the same injustice which Chief Abiola later suffered under General Sani Abacha.

"This is a leader under whose current watch our democracy has been subjected to the worst kind of abuses as even documented by international bodies, including the United States Department of State, Amnesty International (AI) and Transparency International (TI).

"Chief Abiola, in his life time, stood for personal liberty of citizens, particularly, the right to aspire for any position; respect for constitutional order and principle of separation of powers, national cohesion as well as a free press, all of which were upheld by the PDP.

"It is however a notorious fact that all these freedoms are being trampled and strangulated under this Buhari Presidency, even as the national cohesion, which was the watershed of the June 12 election, is being daily assailed under the watch of President Buhari.

"While the PDP congratulates the family of late Chief Abiola and other martyrs of democracy, we also remember the roles of the late Senator Abraham Adesanya, Bagauda Khalto, Dan Suleiman, Raph Obiorah, Alex Ibru, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Pa Ajayi Laniwun and a host of others, as well as the Management and Staff of the Concord, Guardian, Vanguard, Punch and other media houses, who suffered undue hardships for our nation to attain this democracy," the party said.

Meanwhile, the party lampooned the Buhari Presidency for appropriating the achievements of the National Assembly and listing them as those of President Muhammadu Buhari.

PDP in another statement signed by Ologbondiyan, said the recent attempt by the Buhari Presidency to ascribe credit to Mr. President for the recent amendments to the constitution, particularly the granting of financial autonomy to state assemblies and judiciaries, was despicable.

"The party notes that neither the Presidency nor the President himself, made any input in support of these amendments.

"Equally appalling is that the Presidency is still listing the passage of the "Not Too Young to Run" law as an achievement of the President even when he had no input whatsoever in the initiative.

"It is instructive to note that none of the amendments stem from any executive bill and that the Buhari Presidency has never initiated any programme to enhance the course of governance in our country in the last three years.

"Furthermore, Nigerians already know that the Buhari administration has not implemented a single project or programme in any part of the country in the last three years of governance, but always resorting to lies, blame passing, beguilments, deception and contrivance.

"Instead of seeking ways to mitigate the situation, Mr. President's handlers are subjecting him to more public ridicule of commissioning projects executed by other leaders such as his embarrassing commissioning of a regular bus stop constructed by Lagos state and a water borehole in Jigawa while posturing for photo-ops to hoodwink Nigerians.

"In fact, this clear attempt by the Presidency to claim credit for the achievement of the National Assembly has further confirms PDP's earlier alert to Nigerians of plans by the Presidency to dish out fictitious achievements and false performance indices to deceive Nigerians ahead of 2019 general election.

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