The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s Democracy Day speech had no space for Chief MKO Abiola.
According to the main opposition party, the President’s speech was described as a huge and unpardonable slap on the face of the nation’s democratic process.
In a statement issued on Friday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the speech showed that the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress, APC, have no regard for Chief Abiola and the essence of June 12, but only used their nomenclature to gain selfish political capital.
The statement read: “Our party invites Nigerians to note that Mr. President’s speech had no space for Chief MKO Abiola. This only goes to show that the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress, APC, have no regard for Chief Abiola and the essence of June 12, but only used their nomenclature to gain selfish political capital.
“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.
“President Buhari’s failure to express any commitments to electoral reform in his 38-minute pre-recorded address shows that his administration has no plans to guarantee credible elections in our country.
“Also, Mr. President had no words of assurance towards respect for our constitution, particularly the principles of separation of powers, federal character, equality, equity, fairness, transparency, and respect for the sensibilities of our federal structure.
“Furthermore, President 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.
“Rather, Mr. President and his handlers sought 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.
“By this speech, President Buhari failed to appreciate that the progress of any nation is hinged on credible elections, equity, justice, and adherence to the rule of law.
“Moreover, Nigerians have been a shock that 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, President Buhari was claiming that his government had secured the nation.
“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 PDP however urges 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.”