Abuja – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday resolved to report the actions of the military in the just concluded February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections through a petition to the United Nations (UN) as well as other global democratic institutions.
The PDP also resolved to file a petition at the election tribunal in Abuja today.
The party warned that there may be no election in 2023, given the manner the present government was running the affairs of the country.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the expanded caucus meeting of the party, the spokesman of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “Caucus commended Nigerians for refusing the harassment, intimidation, and militarisation of the electoral process and participating in the election but noted that the mandate that was freely given to our candidate was stolen and as such the party and the candidate jointly resolved to go to the tribunal, and reaching the end of what is permissible within our legal system to get back our mandate on behalf of Nigerians.
“Caucus further noted the role of the military in the February 23 election and resolved that we will report the action of the military through a petition to UN as well as other global democratic institutions on the role of our military in the February 23 election.
“Caucus also reviewed the situation in Kano State, particularly as it concerned the court decision and noted that an appeal had been filed against the judgment and we will continue to study and follow the situations as they arise.
“Caucus further raised issues about the harassment, intimidation, and cajoling of our members on the plot by the Buhari presidency as well as APC to intimidate the people’s president, former VP Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the resolve of the PDP to go to court by insisting, blackmailing, and saying that he should not go to court. We insist that our party and our candidate have resolved to seek legal redress on the stolen mandate.
“On the forthcoming governorship election, we decry the militarisation of the South-South and the rigging, which the APC is plotting ahead of the election. We urge Nigerians to come out en masse and participate in the election and ensure they vote for the candidates of the PDP.”
Speaking earlier at the caucus meeting, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who said that the party would file its petition today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday), said the decision of the party to seek legal redress was largely informed by what he called the brazen rigging of the polls by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Alleging that the staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were intimidated to carry out the bidding of the ruling party, Secondus said President Muhammadu Buhari-led government used “the military to harass the electorate in some parts of the country in the course of the elections”.
He added: “Nothing will make us waver in the pursuit of justice. The decision to go to court has been finalised and the process has begun.
“We will file our petition today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday). No matter what anyone will do or what the APC will say, we will seek justice to the highest court of the land.
“What happened during this election has never happened in the history of this country. They are celebrating criminality, they are celebrating evil.
“Our leaders are not talking, and if you don’t speak against evil, it will consume everybody. The National Peace Committee is not saying anything.
“INEC and its ad-hoc staff were intimidated and everyone is quiet. If nothing is done, we will nosedive and go deeper and deeper in this situation we have found ourselves.”
Secondus, who expressed fear over the use of the military in the election, warned that the way and manner the security agencies were used in the election by APC, the ruling party would simply write the results of the 2023 elections.
Decrying the silence of the elders in the country, the PDP boss said the elders should speak out now, because keeping silence would boomerang in the nearest future.
Emphasising that the party would go to court, Secondus called on the Federal Government to release Babalele Abdullahi, the son-in-law of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his lawyer, Uyiekpen Osagie, that are presently in detention.
He said: “We are strong and resolute, nothing will make us change our minds. The decision to go to court has been finalised and agreed and the process is on. The lawyers have been assembled. We may be in court today or tomorrow. No one can stop us.
“No matter the propaganda of APC, we will seek justice till the last drop of our blood. We believe justice will be done and God almighty will give justice.
“Never has it happened in our country that INEC will be so compromised and our security will be so involved in election that is purely of civilians.
“People are celebrating manipulation, criminality, and rigging. This thing will consume us one day. We asked INEC if what happened on the 23rd would happen on the 9th? How would history and the next generation judge you?
“In 2023, there may be no election; they will simply write the results.
“If the military wants to contest in election they should say so. It happens in Thailand, where the military and civilian contest election.
“We want to put on record that in Lagos, certain sections of people were denied the opportunity to vote, is that what is going to happen on the 9th?
“The in-law of our presidential candidate and his lawyer are in detention and not released. And the leaders of the country, including the civil society, are keeping quiet.
“We ask that the personal lawyer of our presidential candidate, his son-in-law be released. We will not be intimidated and we will not keep quiet.
“The EFCC has become the suppression and oppression of the poor. I call on Nigerians to come out en masse to resist the intimidation.”
Secondus told the INEC boss that God, history, and the whole world were watching.
PDP Asks EFCC To Release Tanimu Turaki Immediately
Meanwhile, PDP on Monday demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the Deputy Director-General (Admin) of its Presidential Campaign Organisation, Tanimu Turaki (SAN), who was arrested on Monday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The party, which said that Turaki was arrested for no cause, said that his arrest and detention was part of the grand plot by the Buhari presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use state apparatus of power to intimidate PDP leaders and scuttle PDP’s determination to reclaim its February 23, 2019 presidential election victory in court.
The PDP, in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “Since the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the PDP expressed our unwavering determination to reclaim our victory at the tribunal, being armed with overwhelming evidence, our leaders have been subjected to escalated harassments, constant threats, blackmails, cajoling and contrivances by the APC to drop our legal option.
“It is instructive to state that Tanimu Turaki was arrested and detained upon invitation by the EFCC to endorse a bail document for the Finance Director of Atiku Abubakar’s company, Babalele Abdullahi, who was arrested earlier by the commission over flimsy allegations.
“The PDP, however, states in clear terms that the APC and the Buhari presidency are fighting a lost battle as no amount of harassment and threats will ever make the party to buckle in its determination to take back the mandate, in line with the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians.
“Nigerians are resolute on this struggle to reclaim the mandate freely given to Atiku Abubakar at the polls and the PDP will pursue this decision to its logical end and secure justice for the Nigerian people.”