The main opposition party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to steer clear of democracy day celebration.
The party said the APC had allegedly violated all democratic ethos in “manipulating the presidential election and upturning the mandate of the people” in the February 23 election.
The PDP, in a statement on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said Buhari’s swearing-in would not give legitimacy to the nation’s Democracy Day on grounds that it was “a stolen mandate.”
The party said, “Moreover, the PDP rejects this absurd desperation by the Buhari Presidency and the APC to overshadow the import of our Democracy Day and stifle the quest by Nigerians to vent their anger against the democratic violations of the APC administration in the last four years.
“The PDP counsels the Buhari Presidency to note that trying to seize our Democracy Day cannot confer legitimacy to a rigged election, neither can it erase the litany of violations including human rights abuses, assault on democratic institutions, particularly the Legislature and the Judiciary; clamp down on opposition figures, clipping of the media, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention of citizens, and the rigging of the 2019 Presidential election.
“The PDP wants the Buhari Presidency and the APC to understand that what is paramount to majority of Nigerians now is the retrieval of the stolen mandate, which they freely gave to Atiku Abubakar, at the tribunal so that our nation can enjoy the values of freedom, justice, fairness and equity embedded in our constitutional democracy.
“They should therefore steer clear of our Democracy Day, having violated all our democratic ethos in manipulating the presidential election and upturning the mandate of the people; the same injustice which Chief MKO Abiola, the symbol of June 12, fought and died for.
“Chief Abiola stood and died for democracy.
Any attempt therefore to schedule any event related to the outcome of the rigged 2019 Presidential election on June 12 would be an open desecration of the sanctity of the Democracy Day and a direct assault to the sensibilities of Nigerians,” the party said.