The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the April 11 governorship election in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has condemned the denigration of the judiciary by Governor Nyesom Wike, his agents and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Peterside, who spoke with reporters in Abuja on Tuesday, said the vilification of an important arm of government like the judiciary by desperate politicians, portend grave danger for Nigeria and her budding democracy.
Both Wike and the PDP have descended hard on the judiciary since the governor’s election was nullified by the election petition tribunal and 20 members of the state House of Assembly were also sacked by another tribunal.
Wike in a statement yesterday by his media aide, Mr Opunabo Nko-Tariah, alleged a judicial gang-up against him even as he faulted the recent tribunal verdict that nullified his election.
But the APC flag bearer described the disparagement and on-going war against the judiciary by Wike and his co-travelers as a dangerous precedence that must be checked quickly because of its calamitous consequences.
His words: “The judiciary is a sacred and respected institution. Therefore, any person or persons who openly criticize judges and their rulings obviously have a sinister motive.
“However, it is gratifying to note that people are beginning to fully appreciate the character and temperament of the people we engaged during the last general elections in Rivers State. They are obviously finding it difficult to live under due process and the rule of law because they are used to impunity and violence, the two evils that were taken to new heights under the last government.
“If service is really the reason for being in politics, then it is tragic that these politicians are conducting themselves in such a spiteful manner. Nobody is above the law and when people openly and brazenly challenge institutions of state like the judiciary, it sends the wrong signal.
“The APC in Rivers State and its candidates took their losses at the various election petitions tribunals with equanimity, knowing full well that a window of opportunity still exists. Even when we felt very dissatisfied with the verdicts, we still did not abuse the judiciary or judges who handled our cases because we know the consequences of such defamatory actions.
“Wike and Rivers PDP are still living in the past but they should be reminded that Nigeria of today is a survivor because she defeated impunity and all the lawlessness of the last administration”.