By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
Worried by the high rate of electoral malpractices and violence across the country, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Bill into law to prevent and salvage democracy in Nigeria.
Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, Deputy National Chairman made this call in a chat with journalists after the meeting with the United States of America’s Consul General, Claire Pierangelo on Monday in Abeokuta.
Elder Akinwonmi and other leaders of PDP in the state had earlier met with the Consul General and her team behind closed door whereby lots of deliberations and ways to move democracy forward in Nigeria were discussed.
While granting interview on the outcome of the meeting, the national deputy chairman stated that they were able to tell the Consul General on how PDP had advanced democracy in Nigeria for sixteen years.
“We equally told how PDP was able to take democracy from the scratch to the peak before we handed over power, and of course, we told her to realise that it had never happened in any part of the world when former President Goodluck Jonathan handed over power to All Progressives Congress (APC) government when the elections processes had not been concluded.
“During the campaign, President Jonathan said his ambition was not worth the blood of anybody, but today we are living in the world of fear and acrimony in Nigeria under APC government.
“During PDP era, the judiciary did not compromise its duty, INEC was working without compromise, and other agencies were working unhindered. Now things have changed. What we are witnessing in this administration, the INEC and judiciary have compromised, and all other agencies have compromised too.
“What has the military got to do with civil elections in the country? Nothing, by using chopper to tear gas crowds of people during voting in Kogi State. These are strange things now in our democracy. APC government has now drawn democracy back from where we left it.”
While responding on the way forward, he said: “The way forward is very simple, we should prevail on the federal government to sign the Electoral Bill into law, which has been on the table of Mr. President for the past four years. Let them sign it into law, and then monitor our democracy, because whatever happens in Nigeria, happens to the entire black race in the world.
“If they want democracy to thrive in Africa, they must nurture it in Nigeria so that it can grow, otherwise, our generation and the generations to come will not hear of democracy. We prevail on them to do things that will gladden the heart of Nigerians. What they are doing today is making Nigerians sad.”
The Consul general said: “What we are doing is to meet the leadership of all PDP in Ogun State, having gone to all other parts of Nigeria, and met leadership of all political parties so that we can hear from them what their goals and aspirations are for their states and for Nigeria in general.
“And today, I have the pleasure of meeting these gentlemen and I will meet representatives of all other political parties too.
“I am here in Ogun State on my first visit so that I can talk to the Governor and other notable people, and to talk about what is going on, what is their aspirations so that we can also discuss possible areas of cooperation to the United States strictly on the areas of opportunities.
“In the area of agriculture opportunity, educational opportunity and even in other areas with lots of potentials, just I have been told that Ogun is the Gateway State to Nigeria, being close to Lagos and also possess great opportunity to United States on trade and investment and other possibly of a lot of things.”