Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has observed that a pattern of official bullying of the judiciary has emerged following President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment on the opposition’s election loss followed by that of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
In a statement issued on Monday by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, alleged that the president is playing the role of the chief marketing officer of election robbery orchestrated by the ruling party.
“We have read with disgust the shameful efforts by the Muhammadu Buhari administration in playing the role of chief marketing officer of the electoral heist deliberately orchestrated to keep the ruling All Progressives Congress in power against the wishes of Nigerians.
“Starting from President Muhammadu Buhari himself when he made a remark that will forever remain in infamy while hosting some governors of his party, and alleged ‘the opposition lost the election due to overconfidence and complacency,’ we have seen a pattern whereby senior officials of government are subtly bullying the judiciary to submission.
“While it is generally acknowledged that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has a notoriety of acting busybody, it is ridiculous that the Minister will take a cue from his boss to weigh in on a matter that is already before the courts.
“The Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government has already breasted the tape for being the most irresponsible government in Nigeria on account of breaking its promises.
“Whereas President Buhari and his appointee INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu had promised Nigerians and the entire world of conducting a credible, free and fair 2023 general election wherein technology will be deployed to track and protect every single ballot, we have seen how woefully this administration failed to deliver on its promises.
“We will not wish to explain much on the depravity that trailed the conduct of the 2023 general election since it remains a matter before the judiciary.
“However, it is important to caution the APC and, especially, senior officials of the current administration to desist from making commentaries that portend as subtle acts of bullying against the judicial processes that is currently putting the legality of the last election into trial.
“If officials of the Buhari government must explain anything within their remaining days, let it be about telling Nigerians how they failed on their promises including issues of naira redesign; destruction instead of creation of jobs; the pervading state of insecurity and divisions along ethnoreligious and political lines; galloping inflation and high cost of living; removing the corruption around the issues of fuel subsidy and their latest promise of conducting a national census, which, typically, they have failed to deliver upon.
“They must also explain to Nigerians why the country that they are leaving behind before going back to Niger Republic is the poverty capital of the world,” the statement read.
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