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Tinubu’s Democracy Day Broadcast a Veiled Threat to Judiciary – Atiku’s Aide

Phrank Shaibu, the Special Assistant on Public Communication to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has described President Bola Tinubu’s Democracy Day broadcast as a veiled threat to Nigeria’s judiciary. In a statement he signed, Shaibu said Tinubu had no constitutional power to determine what an illegal or legal court order is. He added that Tinubu’s speech had exposed his plan to run an autocratic government.

In his broadcast on Monday, Tinubu said: “It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary, illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.” Reacting, Shaibu said it was funny that Tinubu, who had been one of the biggest beneficiaries of court orders, could turn around to “threaten the judiciary now that he has found his way into power.”

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“What is an illegal court order? Is it an order that Bola Tinubu finds unfavorable? Is it within his powers to determine what order to obey and which one to disregard? This is a man who rode to power after several applications were dismissed based on technicalities,” Shaibu said.

He added that Tinubu’s recent court order to stop the Nigeria Labour Congress from going on strike was a clear indication of his hypocrisy. “However, now he suddenly realizes that unnecessary so-called illegal orders used in truncating democracy would no longer be tolerated when his minions in Lagos deprived non-indigenes of voting. What a hypocrite,” Shaibu said.

“Tinubu wants to impose the leadership of the legislative arm of government. He also wants to force the judiciary to bow to his will. Does he want to turn Nigeria into a dictatorship?” Shaibu asked.

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Meanwhile, the PDP has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of planning to rig the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the APC was plotting to use security agencies to intimidate and harass voters in the two states.

Ologbondiyan said: “Our party is aware that the APC has perfected plans to use compromised security agents to unleash violence, harass and intimidate voters, particularly in Edo state, where the people have fully rallied on the platform of the PDP to confront and dismantle the APC’s rigging machinery.”

He added that the PDP was ready to resist any attempt to rig the elections, stressing that the party would not allow the APC to subvert the will of the people. Ologbondiyan urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a free, fair, and credible election in both states.

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In a related development, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has said that it would not deploy corps members to volatile areas during the forthcoming elections in Edo and Ondo states. The Director-General of the NYSC, Brigadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, stated this during a virtual meeting with the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and other stakeholders.

Ibrahim said the decision was taken to ensure the safety of corps members who would be participating in the elections as ad-hoc staff. He added that the NYSC would work closely with the security agencies to ensure the safety of its members during the exercise. The INEC Chairman, on his part, assured the NYSC of adequate security arrangements for the corps members.

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