Nigeria News

NIGERIA: APC Alleges Plot to Use Judiciary to Scuttle Democracy

 The accusations and counter accusations which have dogged the political campaigns continued on Tuesday with the  All Progressives Congress (APC) raising the alarm over fresh moves by anti-democratic forces to use the courts to postpone or scuttle next month's general election.

The party asked the judiciary to protect the nation's democracy, while urging Nigerians to repudiate the desperadoes and their allies who are behind the plot.

In a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said after all the efforts to stop the APC presidential candidate, General  Muhammadu Buhari, failed, the anarchists have moved on to the next chapter, which is to use the courts to stop the elections at all cost.

It said the case instituted at a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, seeking a declaration that Gen. Buhari lacks the requisite qualification to contest the February 14th presidential election, is the first in a series of court cases to be instituted just so that the elections will not hold.

The courts, which had been on strike for weeks, called off their industrial action last Monday.

''We are not surprised at this, because these desperadoes are so predictable. They are following the footsteps of the infamous Association for Better Nigeria (ABN), which helped to annul the 1993 elections and which threw Nigeria into a crisis from which it has yet to fully recover, over 20 years later.

''We can only appeal to the judiciary not to become a willing tool in the hands of those who will stop at nothing to scuttle the elections, just to perpetuate their firm grip on power,'' APC said.

The party said the truth is that President Goodluck Jonathan is very much aware that if the elections go ahead as scheduled, he would lose to Gen. Buhari by a landslide, adding that the president and his allies are terrified of meeting the APC at the polls.

''An ally of presidential aide Doyin Okupe has revealed that President Jonathan will rather have the military take over than hand over to the APC candidate. Though Okupe has made a tepid denial, the revelation has exposed the thinking and the desperation within the presidency, ahead of the elections.

''We are also aware that up till this moment, the president has yet to repudiate the ex-militants in the Niger Delta who have threatened the country's very existence if he is not re-elected, as if elections are won by fiat. When this is added to ongoing moves to depopulate the North-east, which is an opposition stronghold, using scare tactics, one can see that this presidency and the PDP are as terrified and desperate as they can be,'' it said.

APC also warned those who are manipulating some elements among judiciary workers, either to proceed on strike just so that the courts will not be able to sit on cases that can affect their candidates or to end the strike so they can seek to use the courts to achieve their objectives of truncating the elections, to desist from such acts.

''In particular, we will like to remind the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke  to advise his principal and his aides not to abuse the courts or use it as a tool to truncate democracy. They must be careful not to throw the country into chaos for selfish reasons,'' the party said.

It reiterated its earlier stand that the general election must hold as scheduled on February 14th and 28th, and that under no circumstance will Nigerians accept the postponement of the polls or the establishment of an Interim Government, which is the next option being secretly canvassed by the presidency if its plan to scuttle the elections fails.

''Next month's general election must hold and winners must be declared. Nothing short of this will be acceptable to us as a party,'' APC said.

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