A coalition of Niger Delta agitators yesterday described the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal judgement that upheld the election of President Muhammadu Buhari as a rape and mockery of the country’s democracy.
They wondered why the tribunal ruled that educational qualifications were irrelevant for political appointments, elections and employment. In a statement by convener of the Coalition, ‘General’ John Dukku, the group expressed shock that the judiciary could allow itself to be cowed by the executive arm of government, saying the ruling has the tendency of fueling desperation in politicians to win future elections at all costs.
The coalition, however, cautioned the Supreme Court to right the wrongs of the Tribunal when it receives the appeal of the opposition party by thoroughly considering the evidences. “At the general meeting of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators held on Thursday, September 12, 2019, the Coalition hereby condemns the judgement, because it is a rape on and mockery of the nation’s democracy.
“The Coalition is totally shocked that despite all the evidences of massive rigging in the last general elections in collaboration with the Chairman and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, the Tribunal declared that the polls were free and fair.
“In the so-called ‘landmark judgement’ delivered by the Tribunal, as scripted by the Presidency, Nigerians were shocked to learn that forthwith, one can, and is indeed qualified to contest elections into different elective positions in the country with a primary school leaving certificate or as secondary school dropout as long as he can read and write.
“Moreover, even when such certificates are not available, people can swear to affidavits to enable them to achieve their objectives. “Interestingly, since the pronouncement is coming from those who are supposed to be ‘learned gentlemen’ and custodians of the nation’s constitution, it therefore, means that the acquisition of academic qualifications has forthwith become irrelevant for political appointments and elections, and by extension, for employment purposes in the country,” the statement reads.
It argued that the Tribunal’s declaration just for the purpose of upholding President Buhari’s election as the highest political office holder in the country was not only a mockery and insult to Nigerians, but has sent a dangerous signal to the present generation and generations yet unborn as well as created a bad precedence in the country.
“The Coalition is also surprised that INEC, as a principal actor in the last general elections failed to present witnesses to prove the non-existence of server for the transmission of results, or absence of election irregularities during the February 2019 elections.
“Yet the Tribunal praised INEC and declared the conduct of the elections free and fair just to uphold Buhari’s victory. The Coalition strongly believes that the judgement could result in an invitation to violence in the 2023 elections, as political actors may decide to resort to taking power at all cost through ballot papers/boxes snatching, kidnappings, and jungle justice, since the people have lost faith in the judiciary,” it added.