Our Democracy Under Threat —Igbokwe
Lagos State Publicity Secreatary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Joe Igbokwe says the nation's democracy is being threatened going by the way President Goodluck Jonathan is using all means to muzzle the opposition parties.
At a news conference in Lagos, southwest Nigeria on Wednesday, Igbokwe said given the activities of Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, today, it was now obvious that total war had been declared on the opposition and democracy.
“I saw it coming. After the registration of APC and the defection of some PDP governors to APC, I warned that there would be intimidation, subterfuge, brigandage, suppression, oppression, repression, force, harassment to fight APC.
“They first went court to stop the governors and failed. Now they have resorted to using stolen money to buy lawmakers in various State Assemblies to impeach selected APC Governors. Using the heavy, weighty instrumentality of the Federal Government, the Presidency and the PDP have decided to decimate, and desecrate the opposition by crude and rough tactics.
“From Rivers State, Ekiti to Adamawa, from Nasarawa to Edo, etc, it is fight to the finish to remain in power at all costs,” he said, lamenting that the PDP had been an unmitigated disaster in the sixteen years it has been in power as it has completely wrecked this country in all spheres of governance.
Igbokwe added that from the colossal failure in the power sector, to the complete takeover of the country by insecurity, from the overwhelming state of poverty which the World Bank reports is at over 120 million, to the total state of unemployment, total corruption to the state of complete infrastructure decay, the Jonathan government has been a disgraceful failure that today attracts copious internal scorn and ridicule.
According to Igbokwe, freedom of speech, association, movement and expression are systematically being curtailed in Nigeria as one could not appear on any Television station in Nigeria without getting a clearance from the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, NBC, if one was from the opposition party.
“Today, we fear that all the nation's security agencies have been given instructions to crush the opposition at all costs. They are now mobilized for obnoxious roles during election and they are put at the beck and call of the PDP and the fixers of the party whose inordinate quest for power has become demonic.
“Boko Haram insurgency has remained intractable. They are shifting the blame to APC just to attract sympathy of Nigerians and use it to remain in power no matter whose ox is gored. But every right thinking Nigerian knows the genesis of Boko Haram. Today, Boko Haram has killed more than 5,000 Nigerians, kidnapped more than 300 girls from Chibok and has destroyed schools, homes, offices etc.
“The world came to help but they are not getting the desired cooperation. This has caused many to believe that there is something Nigerians do not know about Boko Haram. Is the government in power using it to attract sympathy to it? Is it being used to get security votes in order to raise money for 2015 election? Is it being used to paint the opposition black? Is it being used to divert attention to the mess PDP has inflicted on Nigerians? Are some highly placed people using Boko Haram to create wealth for themselves?” he asked.
Igbokwe stated that the nation's hard earned democracy is under serious threat and that the defenders of democracy and rule of law must stand up now, saying characters that did not know how “we got to where we are today must not be allowed to crash this democracy. It seems to me that the harassment of the opposition, Boko Haram insurgency, and impeachment of governors are all geared towards 2015 presidential elections. Now, President Jonathan must be persuaded to step down.”
He said going by the equation, it is expected that Jonathan should step down in 2015, saying that the president would have ruled for 10 years if given another term in office, and that seeking another term of four years would endanger the nation's politics and create ethnic and religious tension as currently being witnessed.
“We are in a democracy and if we are still in one country, there is need for equity and justice. President Jonathan's ambition to rule Nigeria for 10 years may break Nigeria. Besides all these, quest for power in a democracy is anchored on good performance while in office. President Jonathan's handling of the Nigerian state is disastrous and tragic.
“His stellar performance in growing corruption, exhuming convicts, murderers, those facing corruption charges, and rehabilitating them with limitless illicit resources to go and wrest states and liberalise illegality and gangsterism for the purpose of annexing states and remaining in power has crashed the economy of the nation, it is certainly going to crash this democracy if men of goodwill do not stand up and confront this brigandage,” he stated.