Impose Travel Ban On Buhari And Family, PDP Tells Int’l Community
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the international community to impose a visa ban on President Muhammadu Buhari and his family over what they claimed is the Nigerian leader’s role in the rigging of the 2023 presidential elections.
PDP’s comment came about two days after a statement by Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, quoted Buhari as saying that the opposition failed to win the exercise due to its non-tactical abilities.
But in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Friday, the PDP described Buhari’s comments as “unfortunate, reckless, unpresidential conduct and subjudice”.
“Having clearly undermined democracy in Nigeria, the PDP calls on the International Community to accordingly impose sanctions including visa ban and travel restrictions on President Buhari and his family immediately after he vacates office on May 29, 2023,” the statement read.
“This demand for sanction is in line with President Buhari’s request on February 17, 2022, in Brussels, Belgium, wherein he called on the European Union (EU) to impose ‘weighty sanctions’ on those engaged in ‘unconstitutional change of governments’ as well as those influencing the ‘process and outcomes of elections’.”
While alleging that the APC rigged the election, the PDP claimed that the presidential election was marred by brazen violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act 2022, INEC Regulations and Guidelines; manipulation of processes, alteration of genuine results from Polling Units and announcement of fabricated figures.
The opposition party also claimed that the election was won by its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, which is why the party is already at the tribunal with the prospects of reclaiming the mandate.
“Nigerians and the International Community are therefore appalled, horrified, and scandalized by the careless, unguarded and subjudice comment by President Buhari in which he attempted to justify the rigging of the February 25, 2023, Presidential election by the APC under his watch.
“This statement reveals the utter disregard that General Buhari has for our Constitutional democracy, judiciary, and the will of the Nigerian people as expressed at the February 25, 2023, Presidential election,” the PDP said.
The statement further read, “It is, to say the least, reprehensible for Mr. President to posture and gloat over the trampling of the Will of Nigerian, blame the opposition for being overconfident and, according to him, for not being ‘tactical,’ perhaps enough to outwit the violence, brutality, threats, suppression of voters, rigging and election manipulations by the APC and the government which he heads.
“It is unpardonable that President Buhari, who swore to uphold the laws of our country and made several commitments to the world to ensure free, fair, credible and transparent election, is rather in approval of election rigging through manifest compromise of INEC system and wide-spread alteration, falsification and switching of election results in favour of his rejected party, the APC.
“President Buhari is practically gloating over the undermining of democracy by INEC which refused to transmit directly results from the Polling Units to its Server/Website and announce same, in total violation of the express provisions of Section 64 Sub-section 4 (a) (b) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
“More distressing is that after superintending over the rigging of the election, President Buhari, by his subjudice comments apparently seeks to bully, blackmail and influence the judiciary and the outcome of the petition pending before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, so as to allow his Party, the APC, and its candidate to ‘grab, snatch and run’ with the people’s mandate.
“The PDP in clear terms tells President Buhari and his APC that our Party and candidate, Atiku Abubakar, clearly won the February 25, 2023 presidential election as shown by the authentic results from the majority of polling units across the country
“The PDP did not lose the presidential election as claimed by President Buhari and we are not willing to surrender the mandate freely given to our Party by the people irrespective of the threats, bullying, and manipulation by the APC-led administration.
“Nigerians believed and expected President Buhari to leave a legacy of a free, fair, and credible election based on his numerous undertakings and promises but he is leaving an ignoble, dishonorable, and disgraceful legacy of enabling and superintending over the worst election conducted in the history of democracy in Nigeria. President Buhari, history will never be kind to you!
“It is instructive to state that part of the electoral process is the adjudication by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which is considering petitions arising from the election. President Buhari, by his subjudice statement, is clearly interfering in the electoral process ostensibly to influence the outcome and undermine the constitutionally laid down procedures for change of government.”
It also demanded “an open investigation into the roles played by President Buhari in the undermining of democracy in Nigeria in the 2019 and 2023 Presidential elections.
“President Buhari needs to advised to be circumspect and allow the judicial process to proceed without further undue interference and bullying by him.
“The PDP appreciates Nigerians for standing firm in defending our democracy at this critical time. As a Party, we will never relent in our determination to retrieve our Presidential mandate through the Tribunal no matter the machination of the APC.”