The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says “shifting the inauguration day” of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term from May 29 to June 12 will not confer recognition on a “stolen mandate.”
On Monday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information, announced that the inauguration would be low key because many events had been moved to June 12, the country’s new Democracy Day.
In its reaction, the PDP claimed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is being tormented by guilt of some of its actions during the 2019 elections.
The opposition said the APC and its members are afraid to approach the oath book.
“It is clear that the presidency and the All Progressives Congress, APC, being tormented by the guilt of violating our electoral processes, can no longer boldly approach the oath book on May 29, due to the burden of illegitimacy and now seeks refuge in the sanctity of June 12, our Democracy Day,” read the statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s spokesman.
“The presidency and the APC from our recent history, have demonstrated that they are totally averse to democracy. They should therefore steer clear of our Democracy Day, having violated all our democratic ethos in manipulating the presidential elections and upturning the mandate of the people; the same injustice which chief MKO Abiola, the symbol of June 12, fought and died for.
“Chief Abiola stood and died for democracy. Any attempt therefore to schedule any event related to the outcome of the rigged 2019 presidential election on June 12 would be an open desecration of the sanctity of the Democracy Day and a direct assault to the sensibilities of Nigerians.
“Moreover, the PDP rejects this absurd desperation by the presidency and the APC to overshadow the import of our Democracy Day and stifle the quest by Nigerians to vent their anger against the democratic violations of the APC administration in the last four years.
“The PDP counsels the Presidency to note that trying to seize our Democracy Day cannot confer legitimacy to a rigged election, neither can it erase the litany of violations including human rights abuses, assault on democratic institutions, particularly the Legislature and the Judiciary; clamp down on opposition figures, clipping of the media, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention of citizens, and the rigging of the 2019 Presidential election.
“The PDP wants the presidency and the APC to understand that what is paramount to majority of Nigerians now is the retrieval of the stolen mandate, which they freely gave to Atiku Abubakar, at the tribunal so that our nation can enjoy the values of freedom, justice, fairness and equity embedded in our constitutional democracy.”