ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, has said that President Bola Tinubu’s Democracy Day broadcast showed that he planned on running an autocratic government.
He noted that Tinubu’s speech was a veiled threat to the nation’s judiciary, which is in the process of determining the credibility of his election.
Atiku said this through his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, in a statement.
President Tinubu had, in his broadcast said: “It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.”
Reacting, Atiku’s aide said Tinubu had no constitutional power to determine what an illegal or legal court order is.
He said it was funny that Tinubu, who had been one of the biggest beneficiaries of court orders, could turn around to threaten the judiciary now that he has found his way into power.
Also, Shaibu described as unconvincing Tinubu’s claim that he “felt the pains of Nigerians” after the abrupt and unplanned removal of petrol subsidy, saying it was hypocritical of Tinubu to ask Nigerians to make sacrifices when he, in fact, had not given any assurances that he would reduce the cost of governance.
The statement reads in part: “What is an illegal court order? Is it an order that Bola Tinubu finds unfavourable? Is it within his powers to determine what order to obey and which one to disregard? This is a man who rode to power after several applications were dismissed based on technicalities.
“This is a man who just last week obtained a court order in order to stop the Nigeria Labour Congress going on strike. However, now he suddenly realises that unnecessary so-called illegal orders used in truncating democracy would no longer be tolerated when his minions in Lagos deprived non-indigenes from voting. What a hypocrite.
“Tinubu wants to impose the leadership of the legislative arm of government. He also wants to force the judiciary to bow to his will. Does he want to turn Nigeria into a dictatorship?”
Tinubu had said that: “Those who cannot endure and accept the pain of defeat in elections do not deserve the joy of victory when it is their turn to triumph.”
But Shaibu said it was hypocritical of Tinubu to speak in such a manner when he had always been at the forefront of challenging the victory of others whenever his candidate loses.
He added: “Tinubu said openly that he helped Rauf Aregbesola, Kayode Fayemi, Adams Oshiomhole to regain their mandates through the courts. Even his cousin, Gboyega Oyetola, who lost the Osun governorship election, went to challenge the victory of Governor Ademola Adeleke in court. Why didn’t he advise them to accept defeat?
“His predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, lost the presidential election thrice and went to court thrice. Yet Tinubu is painting a narrative that it is only sore losers that challenge the outcome of elections. If he is sure of electoral victory in the last election, then he should be confident and stop trying to intimidate the judiciary and compromise opposition politicians with appointments.
“Tinubu insults the intelligence of Nigerians by claiming that he feels the pains of subsidy removal. For emphasis, Managing Partner of KPMG, Yemi Kale, says the inflation next month could be as high as 30%. Yet there is no palliative in place as of now.
“Tinubu has not shown any sign of reducing the cost of governance, cutting down the presidential fleet, or reducing the number of appointees he will have. Rather, he wants Nigerians to make sacrifices for his lack of planning. This is preposterous.”