Saturday, December 2, 2023

Stop campaign of calumny, blackmail against judiciary, Presidency tells PDP, Atiku

Mr Onanuga said that in blaming others, Atiku and his party failed to do soul-searching.

• November 21, 2023
Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Mr Bayo Onanuga, has called on the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to stop their campaigns of calumny and blackmail against the judiciary.

Mr Onanuga made the call in a statement on Monday in Abuja while reacting to Atiku’s recent allegations against the country’s judiciary.

He said, “In separate statements, the PDP and the spokesman for Atiku Abubakar, its defeated presidential candidate in the February 25 presidential election, threw caution to the winds. They assaulted the integrity of the judiciary and made wild and libellous allegations against President Bola Tinubu.

“In the wake of the poor run of some elected governors of the party at the appeal court, the PDP and former vice-president and his spokesman have become overly desperate to hang their woes on President Tinubu and the judiciary, an important arm of government in Nigeria.”

He added that in blaming others, Atiku and his party failed to demonstrate whether they had done any soul-searching before going public with their weighty, specious and reckless allegations.

He urged Nigerians to disregard the malicious allegations by the PDP and its candidate that Tinubu while he was governor of Lagos State silenced the opposition and corrupted the judiciary.

He also asked the public to disregard the allegation that Tinubu was planning to foist a one-party state on the country by appointing loyalists as Resident Electoral Commissioners.

Mr Onanuga stressed that Tinubu was a democrat to the core who had never interfered with the judgment of the judiciary.

“We had witnessed how under his watch, the PDP governor in Osun defeated the APC at the Supreme Court. Similarly, the PDP governor in Bauchi State also won his case in the Appeal Court, beating the APC. President Tinubu is also not planning to impose a one-party state as Atiku has serially alleged and his party and spokesman have now parroted.

“These allegations are deliberately aimed at unnecessarily heating up the polity and causing disenchantment in our country. They exist only in the imagination of the PDP and the former vice-president,” Mr Onanuga said.

He added that unlike Atiku Abubakar, President Tinubu’s record as a democrat par excellence and a strong advocate of the rule of law had been globally acknowledged.

According to Mr Onanuga, Mr Tinubu’s record of service as governor which witnessed giant strides in various facets is responsible for the dominance of his political structure in Lagos State and not by any undemocratic conduct.

“In contrast, it is on record that Atiku Abubakar recently confessed about the electoral heist his party executed in the South-West in 2003 which Tinubu survived out of the six governors of the defunct Alliance for Democracy.

“Atiku and PDP are now crying wolf over the Appeal Court rulings on governorship polls in Plateau, Zamfara and Nasarawa states.

“We hasten to ask the former vice- president where he was in 2019 when the court ruled against the APC in Zamfara and awarded all the positions won by the APC to PDP,” he said.

Mr Onanuga wondered where Mr Atiku was, also in 2019 when in Rivers State, when the court stopped the APC from fielding any candidate in both the governorship and state House of Assembly elections.

He further asked where Mr Atiku and the PDP were in 2019 when on the eve of the swearing-in of Bayelsa governor-elect, David Lyon, the Supreme Court handed the victory of the APC to the candidate of the PDP, Gov. Douye Diri.

“Atiku and PDP then savoured all these court-handed trophies as sweet victories for PDP and celebrated the courts as protectors of democracy. Now that the same courts are annulling PDP victories, based on the blatant violations of the law by the lawless party, the party is mudslinging the judiciary and President Tinubu.

“We once again implore Atiku and PDP to stop their campaigns of calumny and blackmail against the judiciary and the honourable judges and justices. Judgments are based on law and evidence. In election petition cases, they are based on the Electoral Act and the Constitution, not on sentiments and emotions,” Mr Onanuga stressed.

He added that it was irresponsible and a disservice to the country for the opposition, after failing to observe the letters and spirits of the law, to turn around to tear down an important arm of government.


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