Against the backdrop of Democracy Day, the party urged Nigerians to demand the entrenchment of democratic tenets in the nation’s polity.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of undermining democracy and disrespecting the memory of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola.
The election was annulled by former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd). The election was adjudged the freest and fairest poll in the country’s history.
In 2018, former President Muhammadu Buhari officially recognised June 12 as Democracy Day. From the Fourth Republic began in 1999, the day was hitherto commemorated on May 29.
Speaking against the backdrop of Democracy Day on Monday, PDP spokesman Debo Ologunagba, in a statement, urged Nigerians to use the occasion of the celebration to demand the entrenchment of democratic tenets in the nation’s polity.
“The barefaced manipulations of the 2023 general elections by the All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission amount to an unpardonable assault and rape of democracy and disregard for the will of the people—the very ills for which Chief MKO Abiola fought and died,” the statement read in part.
PDP also described it as distasteful, offensive and unacceptable for the nation “to observe the Democracy Day under a system that violated, desecrated and despoiled all the tenets of democracy as witnessed in the brazen rigging that characterised the 2023 general elections”.
“June 12 epitomises the struggle by Nigerians against the corrupt, manipulative and anti-democratic system; against injustice, impunity and electoral fraud, which INEC, under Prof Mahmood Yakubu, now represents.
“It is indeed heartrending that all the steady progress and gains made by successive PDP administrations in reforming our electoral system have been completely wiped off by INEC in the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
“Our party, however, urged Nigerians not to despair but to remain optimistic and law-abiding in their hope for a better nation, which they earnestly yearn for,” the statement added.
The PDP as well as the Labour Party are aggrieved at the outcome of the February 25 presidential election, which saw the emergence of the APC’s Bola Tinubu as the winner. Both parties are challenging the results in court