Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have alleged that recent court rulings, which were decided against the party, is part of a grand plot by the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, to foist a “one party state in Nigeria”.
Speaking under the aegis of PDP Governors Forum, the governors cited Thursday’s ruling by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, which nullified the election of Udom Emmanuel as Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
Gov. Emmanuel’s election was upheld in 13 out of 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom State by the election petitions tribunal, which ordered a re-run in the remaining 18 LGAs because of widespread irregularities.
But the governor insisted he won in all 31 LGAs and appealed the tribunal’s ruling. The APC candidate, Umana O. Umana also disagreed with the tribunal and approached the appellate court to grant his prayer by nullifying the entire election.
The court in its ruling on Thursday, faulted the tribunal for partially nullifying the election and instead nullified the entire exercise while ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct re-run elections within 90 days from when judgment was delivered.
Reacting to the nullification of the election of Governor Emmanuel, the PDP Governors claimed that the APC has entered an alliance with the judiciary to manipulate election results.
“The nullification of the election of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel by the court of appeal on Friday in Abuja should worry all those who truly desire good for this country”, read a statement issued by the PDP Governors Forum coordinator, Osaro Onaiwu.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the APC is bent on foisting a one-party state in Nigeria and to do so, it is ready to compromise the judiciary, destroy every fibre of integrity and sanctity of the judicial process through state compromise of the judiciary.
“For 16 years that the PDP governed, it respected the right to opposition and did not balkanise the judiciary as we have witnessed in the past seven months of the APC regime.
“Let Nigerians realise that the judiciary is being tele-guided by a puppet master in Lagos and state apparatus and this charade like in all things unholy will soon collapse because a peoples will to choose their leaders can never be negotiated or mortgaged out of desperation”.
Onaiwu alleged that recent court pronouncements sacking PDP governors from office were in concert with the call by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, who said it was a national security risk for the oil-rich states to be controlled by the opposition.
He, however, expressed confidence that “the people of Akwa Ibom state and Nigerians of goodwill will resist the obnoxious decline into fascism as was demonstrated recently in Bayelsa state where the people stood firm against state terror and attempted imposition by the APC”.