PDP to Obama: Teach Buhari tenets of democracy


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Barack Obama of the United States (U.S.) and the international community to advise President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to observe the tenets of democracy.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, made the call during visits to U.S.’ National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute in Abuja on Thursday.
Metuh said PDP, haven ruled Nigeria for 16 years, expected that respect for separation of power and other democratic agencies would continue.
Metuh said he was at the institutes to express PDP’s worries over some of the issues happening to Nigeria’s democracy within the last two months.
“We are worried about attempt by our government to harass and influence the detention of the Senate’s Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu,’’ Metuh said.
The PDP spokesman accused the President of sidelining other political parties in his governance, saying he has chosen to be travelling abroad with only his party members contrary to previous practice.
“The reason these issues are being raised now is that in less than one week, our President will be visiting the U.S. It will be necessary, at this point, for it to be stressed to him that he should observe the tenets of democracy in Nigeria’’, Metuh said.
He also declared that the PDP would not accept the outcome of any election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), if Mrs Amina Zakari, remained its head.
“PDP will find it difficult to accept outcome of any election if it loses any election under Zakari’’, Metuh added.
He said this was due to her close relationship to Buhari.
Metuh commended the institutes’ contributions to Nigeria’s democratic development, and called for their partnership of PDP in opposition.
Mr Jasper Veen, Resident Country Director, NDI, who described political parties as fundamental building blocks of any nation, urged political parties to strengthen their internal democracy.
“If you get right parties internal democracy, other democratic issues will be addressed,’’ Veen said.
He added that for any country’s democracy to function well, its political parties and civil society organisations must interact effectively.
Mr Sentell Barnes, the Resident Programme Officer, Nigeria, said the institute and the U.S. had been involved in series of programmes to promote credible elections in Nigeria.
Barnes said U.S. government and IRI were interested in promoting democratic tenets and independence of electoral institutes in Nigeria.
The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs was created by the U.S. to deepen democratic culture and to channel grants for furthering democracy in developing nations.
The International Republican Institute is a United Nations-partner organisation that conducts international political and institutional programmes.


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