THE People’s Democratic Party has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s Democracy Day speech as a huge and unpardonable slap on the face of Nigeria’s democratic process.
The opposition party in a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National publicity secretary on Friday stressed that Buhari’s silence on the values of democracy as well as the myriads of violations under his watch has further vindicated the party’s stance and that of majority of Nigerians that the Buhari administration has no regard for democracy and is not prepared to uphold its tenets in the country.
The PDP noted that on the day Buhari set aside to celebrate democracy, he had no democratic scorecard to present; thereby directly confirming that he had taken no step to uphold democratic practice in the last five years.
The party urged Nigerians to note that the president’s speech had no space for MKO Abiola, which it said shows no regard for the late politician and the essence of June 12.
” It is scandalous that on a day like this, President Buhari had no assurances on electoral reforms and credible election; which is the hallmark of democracy,” the statement read
The PDP expressed concern that the Buhari led administration did not restate it’s commitments to electoral reform which shows that his administration has no plans to guarantee credible elections in the country.
The party also noted that the President’s address had no words of assurance towards respect for the constitution, particularly the principles of separation of powers, federal character, equality, equity, fairness, transparency and respect for the sensibilities of the federal structure.
It added that Buhari had no words of commitment on how to tackle the constitutional and human rights violations under his watch, including reported intimidation and brutalization of citizens, disobedience to court orders, arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions, extra-judicial killings as well as hounding of opposition and dissenting voices.
The PDP stated that the address by the President and his handlers seeks to divert attention from their failures and violations associated with this administration by taking the nation on a merry-go-round of recycled false performance claims that are not backed by any empirical or verifiable data.
It said it was shocking to Nigerians on Buhari’s claims to a secured nation while bandits were busy killing our compatriots in Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Borno, Kogi and various parts of our nation, even on the eve of his broadcast.
“It is even more distressing that Mr. President opted to use the COVID-19 pandemic to make excuses for the attack by the bandits even as he had no soothing words or decisive assurances for the victims beyond a cold passing comment lacking in expected human empathy.”
The opposition party urged Nigerians not to resign to despondency or allow the failures and violations of the APC administration to erode their faith in ‘our democracy but remain united in their commitment to the stability of our nation.’