By Emma Amaize, South-South Editor
BENIN CITY – COORDINATOR of Friends of Atiku, FoA, Edo State, Dr. Isaiah Osifo, has berated the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign for antagonism against United States and other western countries over the nation’s democratic process, saying they have not breached any law on the country’s democratic process.
Dr. Osifo, in a paper presented at a solidarity conference by FoA in London for Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said, “The US, UK, EU and other lovers of democracy have not violated the sovereignty of Nigeria nor have they violated any international law in their determination to support a free and fair election in Nigeria.”
“Nigerians are rather grateful to the governments and people of US, UK and other democracies in the world for this interventionist policy of supporting democracy and free and fair election in Nigeria. It is our humble call as patriots to the UK government and all lovers of democracy across the globe to stand and support Nigerians and Nigeria in defence of our individual and collective rights to have good government and democracy in Nigeria.
“This can only be possible by a culture of peaceful, free and fair election in Nigeria. The international support for the professionalism of the police, the armed forces of Nigeria, the independence and impartiality of the Electoral Commission is inevitably required for Nigeria to have a peaceful and a transparent general election,” he said
Dr. Osifo asserted that, “This act of humanitarian intervention is a gesture Nigerians will continue to appreciate. It is not for Atiku , it is for all Nigerians. We should have a political system whereby the citizens will be the determinant factor of who should govern them.”
“Intervention is not the same thing as interference. Intervention is a support for the institutions and the system to achieve resilience, professionalism and independence to conduct a free and fair election. Interference is when external powers attend to influence the choice of a particular candidate by influencing the electorate to vote for a particular candidate.
His words, “The UK, US,EU, etc. cannot be accused of interference in our internal affairs or violating our sovereignty because they have not asked Nigerians to vote for a particular candidate, but they are interested in a peaceful, free and fair election that will enable Nigerians to freely elect the president of their choice.”
He noted, “Nobody had expected the APC federal government to address all the problems of Nigeria in four (4) years. However, we expected the APC government to consolidate on the achievements of PDP previous governments and lay a foundation for a positive direction.”
“APC inherited the fastest growing economy in Africa, but today, the Nigeria economy is near collapse, industries are closing or relocating to other countries, unemployment rate is the highest since Nigeria independence.
“APC claim to be prudent in finances and a record of high internal revenue, but these figures do not reflect in our national budget and public expenditure. The external debts Obasanjo/Atiku administration fully paid have returned in a high burden of billions of dollars.
“The gains of democracy and rule of law inherited from PDP administration by APC federal government have been eroded by President Buhari and his APC government. The APC government has not contributed any policy or law to improve the conduct of a free and fair election in Nigeria.
“Buhari was elected on the basis of a free and fair election in Nigeria. Under Buhari/APC administration in Nigeria, Nigerians are now under the burden of begging the INEC chairman appointed by president Buhari to conduct a free and fair election.
“The rule of law is brutalized by President Buhari and his APC government. President Buhari and his APC men have become notorious for violating court orders. Nigerians have suffered physical and psychological violence in the administration of President Buhari and APC.
“The recent suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria,CJN, Hon.Justice Walter Onnoghen by president Buhari without recourse to the constitution or any known law in Nigeria is another psychological violence visited on Nigerians by APC/Buhari administration. There is no provision in the constitution of Nigeria or laws of Nigeria that authorize the president to sack or suspend the CJN.
“Nigerians are in a dictatorship under APC/Buhari administration. The policy thrusts of the administration are nepotism, impunity, violence and propaganda. Buhari/APC government has reversed unity and mutual trust among Nigerians inherited from PDP administration by the glaring dictatorial character of APC administration in Nigeria.
“The principle of Federal Character is enshrined in our constitution, but key appointments of President Buhari into the armed Forces and federal offices are lopsided in clear violation of the principle of federal character in Nigeria constitution.
“The APC/Buhari anti corruption policy is a ruse and deliberately targeted at members of opposition political party or perceived enemies of president Buhari. The national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole has a petition written against him since 2016 on corrupt enrichment and embezzlement of Edo state funds when he was serving as the governnor of Edo state. Up till this moment, three years after the receipt of the petition by the EFCC agency, no attempt has been made to look into the merit or otherwise of the petition.
“In 2016, the same Adams Oshiomhole as governor of Edo state, invited president Buhari to commission his so- called five- star hospital that he claimed to have constructed with billions of naira of Edo state money. More than two years after the commissioning of the hospital by president Buhari, the hospital is still under lock and key and taken over by weeds and reptiles.
“The Director-General of President Buhari presidential election campaign and former governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi was indicted by Rivers state Judicial commission of Inquiry for embezzlement of Rivers state money. The Buhari/APC administration ignored the indictment by an authorized state government and such personality is the best man to be appointed as Campaign Director-General by a president that is claiming to be fighting corruption.
“Even if the indictment was interpreted to be political, an anti-corruption government has the moral burden to accept the decision or subject the report of the inquiry to a review or an investigation of the EFCC to inform Nigerians on the second opinion of the federal government and why they are ignoring the report.
“In a democracy, government fights corruption by adherence to rule of law without being selective, in a dictatorship, the president is always the only clean man and the fight against corruption is usually targeted at the opposition and perceived enemies of the president. The present day Nigeria under President Buhari is a textbook definition of the mode of fighting corruption by a dictator,” he stated.
Dr. Osifo, therefore, urged Friends of Atiku in London and other parts of the world to focus on good governance in Nigeria educate and mobilize voters to appreciate the political virtues of Atiku and vote Atiku in the presidential election.