Lai Mohammed: PDP’s brand of opposition politics poses great threat to Nigeria’s democracy

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Being the text of a press conference addressed by the Hon Minister of
Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the State House,
Abuja, on Wednesday, May 15th 2019

The Federal Government has strongly decried the increasingly
unpatriotic and desperate opposition politics being played by the PDP
and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, warning that
such dead-end opposition could be toxic for the nation’s democracy, if
left unchecked.

Never in the history of politics in Nigeria has an opposition party
and its presidential candidate exhibited the kind of desperate tactics
being deployed by the duo of the PDP and its flag-bearer, especially
since President Muhammadu Buhari overwhelmingly defeated Atiku to win
the 2019 presidential election.

Either by themselves or via their proxies, the PDP and its
presidential candidate are doing everything possible to sabotage the
Buhari Administration, generally overheat the polity and make Nigeria
seemingly ungovernable, especially through their public utterances and
their poorly-thought-out press releases before and after the 2019
general elections. Unless they quickly retrace their steps, they may,
sooner than later, overreach themselves.

For those who may be quick to accuse the government of crying wolf,
the pre-election statement credited to the former Vice President, that
unless Nigerians vote out the APC Administration, killings by herdsmen
will continue and ultimately spark a series of ethno-religious crises
that will be irreversible, is looking more like a Freudian slip than
anything else.

Also, in recent times, the PDP has taken its desperation to a new low
by attacking the judiciary, an action many see as indicating a
reversal of the party’s hitherto self-assured stance that it has a
solid case against the election of the President. And either by
coincidence or orchestration, a faceless group emerges from nowhere
calling for an overthrow of a democratically-elected government, a
totally egregious act of treason.

It beggars belief that a candidate who prides himself as a democrat
can so allow desperation to becloud his sense of propriety to such a
extent that he will be associating with anti-democratic forces or
making inflammatory statements. For acclaimed democrats, there are
acceptable channels of seeking redress after an election defeat. Even
President Buhari himself went to court three times to challenge
election results.

What is not acceptable is to either resort to self help after an
election defeat, or to embark on a journey of subterfuge and sabotage
while also mounting a legal challenge or pretending to do so. Worst
still, painting the judiciary bad for whatever reason is
anti-democratic and unconscionable,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

We want to urge the main opposition party to stop beating the drums of
war concentrate on the legal challenge by its candidate against the
election of President
Buhari if indeed they have any faith in the country’s judiciary, and
desist from unnecessarily overheating the polity.

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