APC’s ‘snatch, grab and run’ agenda inimical to democracy — Atiku


The presidential candidate of the
Peoples Democratic Party PDP, in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has again
raised alarm over attempts by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to
derail Nigeria’s democracy using subterfuge.


He said the party’s “snatch, grab
and run” agenda of opposition parties’ mandates is inimical to democracy.


Atiku spoke through his Media
Adviser, Mazi Paul Ibe, in a statement, in Abuja, on Monday.


He explained that the ideal
notion of democracy does not just reside in a representative government but is
essentially rooted in the plurality of ideas.


Thus, for a system to be seen as
truly democratic, it must necessarily accommodate opposition and opposing


Atiku said, “Sadly and suddenly,
we have seen a trend whereby the range of opposition engagement continues to be
narrowed by the ruling party in Nigeria.


“Either through the electoral
process where opposition parties are rigged out with brazen impunity, or during
the post-election court processes where the judiciary is conspicuously doing
the biddings of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), it has become
increasingly apparent that the democracy in Nigeria is in a state of


“It gets more curious that all
the states where the courts have made controversial declarations are states
being controlled by the opposition political parties.


“From Nassarawa, Kano, Zamfara
and now to Plateau State, where we are witnessing a situation in which what the
ruling party missed out on Election Day are being delivered to them through the


“These are clearly ominous signs
that threaten not just our faith in the electoral and judicial system but
evidence that our democracy is compromised.


 “It is also crystal clear that the ruling
party will not desist from this inglorious ideology of ‘snatch, grab and run
away with power.’


“It is even more worrisome that
what is playing out now in the Plateau governorship election petition is a
confirmation of the threat echoed by an APC lawmaker in a viral video that the
ruling party will compromise the judicial process to ensure its ultimate
victory in the courts.


“It, therefore, means that the
times we are in are indeed ominous, and the journey ahead in rescuing our
democracy from these buccaneering power grabbers is a long one. It also means
that every man and woman of good conscience should come together for this
common patriotic purpose.


“But we are not surprised by what
is going on. In Lagos State where Tinubu holds sway as godfather, opposition
became an anathema.


“Everyone including judges was
forced to join his party. The few opposition members who managed to get elected
were beaten to submission including at the Lagos State House of Assembly where
the sole PDP member back in 2018 was suspended and arrested for gun running but
mysteriously had the charges dropped immediately after he defected to the APC.


“Recently, the Asset Management
Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) withdrew a N135bn lawsuit it had instituted
against an opposition senator from Anambra State less than 24 hours after he
defected to the ruling party.


“These are the crude methods that
Bola Tinubu has employed in order to reduce the ranks of the opposition and
consolidate his hold on power.


“Is it not mysterious that it was
the same panel that sat and heard all the election petition cases from Plateau
State before the Court of Appeal?


“ How is it that in election
cases where the PDP came first and the APC came second, the court ordered that
the APC be declared winner while in elections where the PDP came first and
Labour Party came second, the courts ordered a rerun in order to give the APC a
chance of victory?


“As Justice Dattijo Muhammad said
in his valedictory speech which has also been buttressed by Olumide Akpata, the
immediate past President of the Nigerian Bar Association, the judgments
emanating from courts in recent times have been questionable and show obvious


“As Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) put it
recently, the judiciary under military dictatorship was much more courageous
and had better integrity than what we have today.


“It is obvious that the APC has
turned the once respected Nigerian judiciary to a “cash and carry” one where
politicians who don’t participate in primaries are named as candidates while
actual winners of elections are sacked for flimsy reasons. They simply deliver
judgments but not justice.


“Apart from the judiciary, Tinubu
has already appointed his loyalists as Resident Electoral Commissioners who
have now been confirmed by Sen. Godswill Akpabio, his lackey who is supposed to
be heading an independent arm of government. This is how the APC plans to
impose a one-party state on Nigerians.”


The former Vice President further
said, “Eternal vigilance remains the watch word if Nigeria’s democracy will
survive the APC onslaught on our democracy and the institutions that are
supposed to check the excesses of the ruling party.”


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