•LP national chairman, Julius Abure
With today’s judgment of the Supreme Court affirming the electoral victory of President Bola Tinubu, the Labour Party (LP) claimes the legislative and judicial arms of government have been hijacked by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
At a press briefing hours after the apex court dismissed the appeals by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar; and his LP counterpart, Peter Obi; LP’s chairman, Julius Abure; said the party was disappointed but have decided to charge on and remain optimistic for what the future holds for the nation.
A seven-judge panel led by Justice John Iyang Okoro ruled the opposition appeals over claims of fraud, electoral law violations, and Tinubu’s ineligibility to run for president lack merit.
The apex court affirmed the September 6, 2023 ruling by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal that upheld the victory of APC’s Tinubu.
According to Abure, what happened from the day of the 2023 presidential election to now showed that the nation was sliding towards dictatorship.
“We are indeed very shocked and surprised that even the apex court will toe the line of an earlier judgement in spite of all the flaws associated with the judgement delivered by the Presidential Election Appeal Tribunal.
“Having conclusively exercised our fundamental rights as gifted to us by the laws of the land, we have no other choice but to move on. We may be disappointed and dismayed by the outcome of the exercise but we have chosen to trudge on and to remain optimistic of what the future holds for the nation.
“We weep for our institutions that cannot rise to the occasion and courageously defend democracy and the voices of our people.
“However, there are great lessons to be learnt. What transpired in Nigeria since the February 25 presidential election is a clear testament that our institutions are not working and that we may be sliding towards dictatorship. It is very clear that the executive has hijacked both the judiciary and the legislature. This is so unfortunate for our democracy and it is even more for the people of Nigeria.
“All what our forbearers taught us has been destroyed within a short space of time because of the unbridled ambition of a few. The founding fathers fought with their lives to achieve independence for the country.
“People lost their lives for the struggle to keep our democracy and all these years people have been struggling to achieve electoral and constitutional reforms. Regrettably, all of these efforts and struggles have been destroyed today,” Abure said.
The Labour Party chairman also alleged that some leaders of the party including himself and Obi have been marked by the government for vilification in order to suppress the party and its goal for a new Nigeria.
He called on the international community to rise to the occasion to defend democracy in Nigeria.
“Your voices were loud and clear in condemnation of the outcome of the presidential election. As we approach the next stage of our democratic journey, we call on you to stand by the millions of Nigerians who are already pushed beyond their limits into unnecessary hardship and penury,” he said.
He also urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the country, adding that “we are hopeful that we will get to our destination someday because where there is a will, certainly, there will be a way. A new Nigeria is still possible.”