The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus has accused the Presidency and ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to destroy the Judiciary ahead of the 2019 general election.
Reacting to the plan by the Federal Government to arraign the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen on Monday January 14 before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), in Abuja on charges of failures to declare his assets, Secondus said the move is to force the CJN to resign and put in place a lame duck jurist that would do its bidding.
Speaking at the PDP Presidential Campaign Rally in Jos, Plateau State, on Saturday, the National Chairman said there would be dire consequences if the election is rigged by the governing party.
He traced previous failed attempts by the government to move against opposition politicians and the National Assembly leadership, even as he expressed concern that the present administration is already setting a bad precedent.
His words: “Buhari and APC want to destroy Nigeria. They started with the politicians and moved to the Legislature. You are aware that there was a coup d’état at the National Assembly. That one failed. Now their target is to destroy the Judiciary, the last hope of the common man. I want to tell you, you must rise to this occasion to resist Buhari and APC. Because they have destroyed the economy, no food on our table. There is hunger in the land. They have started killing upon killing of our people. Atiku is coming to stop the killing. Atiku will provide food on the table for the people. Atiku will provide employment for all of you.
“I want to let you know and the international community that Buhari wants to destroy the Judiciary. APC wants to destroy the Judiciary. We must resist them. 30 days to the election, that is the time they want to destroy the Judiciary. This never happened in Congo or Venezuela. But we promise them if they want crisis, they will see it. But by the grace of God, we are peace-loving people of Nigeria. We want peace but they want crisis. Because they want to rig the election. And they don’t want a Judiciary that will stand their rigging. It will not work.”
While calling on the people to come out en masse and votes for all its candidates at the General Election, he said the party would set up a Commission to look into the activities of the controversial Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
He accused the police chief of being partisanship.
“Now you can see, IGP is a full-fledged member of APC but I want to let him know that my father was also a police officer. That after he leaves that job, whether he likes it or not, he will appear before a Commission. And he will account for all his activities. And he will appear before the International Criminal Court. Because he cannot destory the Nigerian Police. He cannot destroy this institution. So, let him be warned. Enough is enough! And Plateau killing must stop. And the only man who can stop it is Atiku,” he said.
The National Chairman received APC defectors to the party led by the Chairman, Rules and Business Committee of the House of Representatives, Edward Pwajok (SAN).
He assured the decampees that they will have equal rights with other old members of the party.
On his part, Secretary General, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Umar Yusuf, promised to give 30 million votes for the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
He condemned the APC-led Federal Government for allowing the ongoing ASUU strike to linger.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former governors, Jonah Jang, Fidelis Tapgun; former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu; PDP governorship candidate in the state, Jeremiah Useni; former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki were among dignitaries at the event.
The development comes a day after Saraki raised the alarm that the IGP should be held responsible should anything happen to him and his family.
Also reacting, Kola Ologbondiyan, Director, Media & Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, accused the Presidency of plotting to annex the Judiciary.
On a statement on Saturday, Ologbondiyan said: “The party also alerts of allegations that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and cabal at the Buhari Presidency are hounding Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen and seeking his removal so as to cause a constitutional crisis, instill fear in judicial officers and pave way for the foisting of a pliable CJN that will do their bidding on electoral matters.
“This is particularly following allegations that the APC seeks a new CJN that will aid its rigging schemes as well as execute the plot to use the court to detain and put opposition members and outspoken members of Civil Society Organisations out of circulation during the general elections.
“This development is a clear recipe for anarchy and a huge crisis that is capable of fracturing our justice system and derail our democracy as it portends a prelude to a total clamp down on institutions of democracy and rule of law in our country.
“The PDP therefore urges all Nigerians, the United Nations and all international bodies to unite in the defence of our democracy, especially at this very critical time in our political development.
“Moreover, if President Buhari is committed to cleaning up the system as he claims, we challenge him to allow the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, whose tenure has expired and who had also been rejected by Nigerians due to his manifest partisanship, to go.
“President Buhari should also ask Amina Zakari to rescue herself from INEC following her rejection by Nigerians over issues of impropriety in her appointment as Chairperson of the Presidential election collation committee.
“Furthermore, we challenge Mr. President to also commence plans for the immediate prosecution of members of his campaign organization, including his co-Chairman, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the factional National Chairman of his APC, Adams Oshiomhole over allegations of corruption against them.
“Finally, the PDP counsels the APC to note that it has been rejected by Nigerians and as such should end all its actions and schemes that overheat the polity and place our nation on the precipice”.
Earlier, the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abukakar, declared that insecurity is escalating in the country because the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration does not know how to govern.
He added that the APC is not campaigning because it plans to rig the forthcoming election.
Atiku who promised to address unemployment crisis, pledged to give 40 percent of his government to the youth and 30 percent to the women, “making a total of 70 percent, this is because I want you to succeed us.”
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja