The All Progressives Congress, APC, has said the Saturday’s verdict of the Taraba State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is the clearest indication yet that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has started reaping what it sowed in its years of “impunity and recklessness”, hence it should blame itself for whatever tragedy has now befallen it.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the PDP has always been a party of anything goes, hence it is a matter of time for the party to come to grief, first by tumbling from the pinnacle of power and now by losing, incrementally, whatever remains of its crumbled empire.
The PDP spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, had in a statement on Saturday while reacting to the judgment of the tribunal, said the ruling is the “clearest indication” yet that the Nigerian judiciary is being manipulated by the governing APC.
Mr. Mohammed, however, said the PDP was only trifling by attributing the judgment to a supposed manipulation from the Presidency.
”President Muhammadu Buhari as well as his party, the APC, are strong believers in the rule of law, as against the rule of impunity, hence will never manipulate the judiciary for whatever reason.
”The PDP is clearly aware of this, but has chosen to blame everyone but itself for the fate that has befallen it. The PDP should have known that it will pay for its years of impunity and recklessness. For this party, the chicken has now come home to roost”, APC said.
The party said if the PDP is not blaming the judiciary, its favourite whipping boy, it is blaming the APC, the Presidency or even Nigerians for its plight, warning it to stop shifting responsibility.
“PDP should leave the judiciary, the Presidency and the APC alone and accept responsibility for its actions. From the judgement of the Tribunal, it is clear that the impunity of the PDP cost it the election. Not only did the party breach Section 78 (b) (1) (2) of the Electoral Act concerning the organization of party primaries, it was not even deemed to have participated in the April 11th 2015 governorship election in Taraba State in the eyes of the law.
“Apart from not complying with the Electoral Act, the election of the PDP candidate, Mr. Darius Ishaku, in the purported primaries in Abuja was done after the stipulated time for party primaries had elapsed, according to the Tribunal. It is thus clear that the election result in Taraba was not annulled for any other reason but the impunity and recklessness that permeated the life and times of the cadaverous PDP.
“It is noteworthy that this is not the first time the court is ruling against PDP’s impunity of violating its own constitutional provisions and the Electoral Act with regards to ensuring internal democracy in the conduct of primary elections.
“The first landmark judgment came from the Supreme Court when it ruled against PDP’s impunity in 2007 and ordered that Rotimi Amaechi be installed as Governor of Rivers instead of Celestine Omehia who was illegally imposed. Secondly, the Supreme Court had also ruled against PDP in the case of Ifeanyi Ararume when the party took his mandate as validly elected Governorship candidate and handed it over to another aspirant.
“It is instructive to note that these judgments took place while the PDP was in control of the Presidency. The opposition parties then never questioned the integrity of the judiciary by making wild and weighty allegations as the PDP is doing now”, it said.
The APC also said that “the PDP should blame itself for its gross impunity with regards to the conduct of primary elections for Taraba State. For instance, if all political parties, including the APC which was then in opposition, could hold their primaries in the state, why would the PDP that was in control of the State Government come down to Abuja for its primaries against the provisions of the Electoral Act and the PDP constitution?
“The impunity was not only in the case of Taraba State because the PDP also moved its Governorship primaries for Borno and Adamawa States to Abuja in breach of the Electoral Act.
“The irony was that whereas the PDP claimed the primaries where shifted to Abuja because the capitals of Taraba, Borno and Adamawa States where not safe for primary elections, the PDP held Presidential campaigns in the same capitals of the affected states (Jalingo, Taraba State, Maiduguri, Borno State and Yola, Adamawa State).
“Now that the PDP’s chicken has come home to roost, the party must be courageous enough to accept full responsibility and stop seeing enemies everywhere. The PDP is its own enemy”, the party said.