President’s Statement Is A Call For Extra-Judicial Killings” – Dogara

BEING THE TEXT OF A PRESS BRIEFING BY RT. HON. YAKUBU DOGARA, SPEAKER,

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON ISSUES ARISING FROM THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE

PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS BY THE INEC ON FEBRUARY 18,

2019.

1.      This press briefing is to call the attention of well meaning

Nigerians and the international community to the incendiary statements

made by President Muhammadu Buhari, and Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, national

chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the national caucus

of their party, earlier today.

2.      At the meeting the President said: “Anybody who decides to snatch

boxes or lead thugs to disturb the election, may be that would be the

last unlawful action you would take. I have given the military and

police the order to be ruthless. I am going to warn anybody who thinks

he would lead a body of thugs in his locality to snatch boxes or to

disturb the voting system; he would do it at the expense of his/her own

life.”

3. Mr. Oshiomole also claims that the PDP was given prior notice of the

postponement of the elections.

4.      In this context, we categorically deny these false claims and

unnecessary blackmail and regard the President’s statement as a call for

extra-judicial killings considering the fact that there are adequate

provisions in our laws to address electoral offenses.

5. These statements clearly indicate that our democracy has become the

victim of a full blown dictatorship, when one considers that a

democratically elected President would give a directive that is in clear

violation of the laws of the land which by his oath of office he is to

defend and protect.

6.      Inview of this statement by the president, it is obvious that the

military has been given a central role and coopted into the conduct of

the election despite the fact that they have no constitutional role in

our electoral process.

7. It should be noted that our party chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, was

the first to call for an inquiry into why the elections were postponed

last Saturday.  In reality, we support a genuine and transparent probe

into why the presidential and National Assembly elections could not

hold. We also hope that the president’s inflammatory statement is not a

threat aimed at intimidating the electoral commission.

8. We also strongly condemn Mr. Oshiomole’s false, mischievous and

inflammatory claims against our party, when he said INEC colluded with

PDP to abort last week’s elections. This is a very surprising statement

considering the fact  that the Federal government controls every

institution and agency involved  in the electoral process, including the

CBN, Nigerian Airforce, Aviation authorities amongst others.

9. From our position, we strongly believe that the deliberate delivery

of election materials to the wrong electoral centers, cancellation of

flights, and other actions that undermined the logistics arrangement of

INEC were deliberately done to sabotage and manipulate the process.

10.  We are also very familiar with the pressure brought on INEC by top

government officials and APC leaders to go ahead with the elections

despite not being adequately prepared for the election. We are also

aware the APC wanted the INEC chairman to conduct elections in some

states and postpone in other states so as to have staggered elections.

It should also be noted that the areas that would have been affected by

inadequate delivery of materials were PDP strongholds

11. It is important to note that  the APC in its usual manipulative

style is now shifting the blame on INEC leadership while absolving

itself and the other institutions of government under its control of any

blame.That is the common strategy that super villains always employ.

12. Obvioulsy, we know they are doing everything humanly possible to

discredit INEC, remove the chairman and stall the process conscious of

the fact that they cannot win this election.

13. Embarrasingly, this is the first time that we have witnessed a

ruling party play victim, which is a clear indication that they have

lost the plot. Evidently, their recent actions and statements clearly

show they are panicking and desperate to cling onto power, even when the

people have rejected them.

14. Also, opinion polls conducted by the APC, and other international

agencies clearly indicate that the APC will lose this election, anytime

it is conducted; we believe that is why they are resorting to desperate

measures of arm-twisting the electoral commission,  undermining the

entire process and planning to unleash terror on the country.

15. Finally, let it be known that the PDP, with the support of every

well meaning Nigerian, will employ every legitimate means to resist 

attempts by the APC and the Federal government to undermine and

compromise the electoral process and truncate our democracy.

16.  The PDP believes in a united and democratic Nigeria and will

continue to do all within its means to protect the country, her people

and constitution from undemocratic elements.

17. We call on all Nigerians not to despair, but turn out en mass on

Saturday to vote and defend their votes. We also urge the international

community and their observers that are in the country to monitor the

election and be vigilant because their presence as impartial arbiters is

important in ensuring we have peaceful, credible, free, fair and

transparent elections. The security agencies are also enjoined to be

impartial and remain loquat to the constitution of the Federal Republic.

Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara

Speaker, House of Representives

Federal Republic of Nigeria

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