Democracy Day: Don’t Address Nigerians, PDP Caution Buhari

Buhari 2019

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to address Nigerians on Democracy Day.

May 29, which is Democracy Day in Nigeria also marks the conclusion of President Buhari’s third year in office and it is expected that the President would address the nation.

But the PDP believes the President has failed to fulfil his promises, which helped him sweep to power on May 29, 2015.

The party said in a statement on Sunday that May Day addresses by the President since his inauguration “had contained deceits, falsifications and unfulfilled promises”.

“Nigerians have become frustrated and despondent by the magnitude of lies and deception told by the Buhari Presidency and the APC and would prefer to spend the next twelve calendar months contending with such past deceptions than fresh falsifications,” the statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, read in part.

The PDP also accused the current administration and the APC of violating ”all tenets of democracy, trampled on citizens’ rights” since assuming power.

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“Indeed, this administration should not come close to the emblem of democracy, as such would be an unpardonable spat on the faces of millions of suppressed Nigerians and the graves of victims of extra-judicial executions under this administration, as catalogued by international bodies including, Transparency International (TI), Amnesty International (AI) and even the United States Department of State,” the opposition party said.

Beyond criticising the performance of the Federal Government and advising the President against addressing the nation, the PDP said Nigerians have nothing to celebrate on Democracy Day.

It said, “Nigerians are today groaning in regret for electing an administration that has completely turned against them, engaging in clampdown with utmost impunity, setting aside our constitutional provisions and desecrating all democratically established institutions.

“We ask: How can Nigerians celebrate Democracy Day when the rights of citizens are daily trampled and they no longer enjoy their freedom to politically associate and aspire, as was the order under the PDP rule?

“Where is democracy when government tends towards military fiat: where citizens are wantonly arrested, locked up and dehumanized just for expressing political opinions considered to be at variance with views held those in power?”

According to the PDP, opposition members have become endangered species and considered enemies of the state without any just cause under the current administration and dissenting voices are daily harassed, arrested, handcuffed and arraigned on trumped-up charges, just to emasculate opposition.”

Apparently referring to the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye and the theft of the Senate’s mace, the PDP asked, “Where is democracy when our National Assembly, the very bastion of our democracy, is under siege; where federal lawmakers are daily blackmailed, hounded, harassed, intimidated, detained and dehumanised; where strange elements invade the hallowed chambers of the Senate, threatened our senators and forcefully cart away the mace, yet nobody has been prosecuted?”

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According to the PDP, Nigerians who voted it out of power in 2015, “now look back with nostalgia to the 16 years of the PDP, years when government operated with conscience, where democracy was nurtured and the rights, freedom, happiness and prosperity of all citizens were guaranteed and upheld”.

With about nine months left to the 2019 general elections, the PDP called on Nigerians to support it in voting out the APC and the current administration.

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