By Henry Umoru
THE National Working Committee, NWC of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, has said that there was an urgent need for concerted efforts to save the nation’s democracy following the ruling of the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which upturned Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s victory and declared the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Nasiru Gawuna as the winner of the March 18th, 2023 governorship election in the state.
According to NNPP, It has now become very clear that the country’s democracy was under serious threat, hence it must be saved from total annihilation, just as it called on the Judiciary to do the needful as they look forward to a more impartial judgement in the next round of litigation.
Addressing Journalists in Abuja, the acting Deputy National Chairman of NNPP, Prince Nwaeze Onu who noted that the judgment was capable of eroding whatever confidence one has in the judiciary of this great country, however said that although the judgement is a clear and deliberate miscarriage of justice and a disappointment, the party’s faith In the judiciary remained unshaken.
The NNPP acting Deputy National Chairman said, “We at NNPP consider you media practitioners as partners in the efforts to enthrone an enduring democracy in our dear country. It is now very clear that our democracy is under serious threat, and there is the need for urgent concerted effort to save it from total annihilation.
“Without being immodest, our Party can pride itself as a party that is not desperate for power. That is why in spite of the shortcomings of the last general elections, especially, with regard to the disenfranchisement of millions of our voters across the country, we decided not to approach the Tribunal, in view of the tense situation in the country then. Instead, we decided to focus on building our party for future electoral engagements, hoping the future is bright for the growth of democracy in Nigeria.
” Unfortunately, the judgement by the Kano State Election Petition Tribunal on the March 18, 2023, Governorship election is capable of eroding whatever confidence one has in the judiciary of this great country. The reported judgement nullified the free, credible and globally acclaimed fair election of our Governorship Candidate, Engr Abba Kabir Yusuf and brazenly awarded the election to the APC candidate, Nasiru Gawuna.
“The Tribunal arrived at this unjust judgement by unfairly subtracting 165,663 votes from the Governor’s tally in order to enable it unfairly award the election result to the candidate of the ruling APC. In doing so the Tribunal obviously affirms its belief that the vote tally of the APC Candidate was sacrosanct. The Supreme Court in many cases has stated its position on this matter in earlier judgements.
” It is going to be a hard nut to crack for the Kano State Election Petition Tribunal to convince a non-partisan Nigerian that in an election cycle with five different polls, (Presidential, Senatorial, House of Representatives, Governorship and House of Assembly) the NNPP won in all except the Governorship election. For the sake of emphasis, the NNPP Presidential Candidate, His Excellency Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Ph.D, FNSE defeated the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu with a wide margin. In the same vein, NNPP won two Senatorial seats as against APC’s one seat. NNPP won 18 House of Representatives seats as against APC’ four; and in the House of Assembly, NNPP won a clear majority of seats as against APC’s meager number of seats It won. And yet the Kano State Election Petition Tribunal belleves it was over-voting that gave NNPP majority votes in the Governorship election.
“We want APC to know that it is not possible to hide behind one finger. Their threat to take Kano back by force, like a mirage, has only materialized momentarily. NNPP will get back its mandate freely given by the good people Kano of State within the ambit of the law and the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We wish to state emphatically that although the judgement was a clear and deliberate miscarriage of justice and therefore a disappointment, our faith In the judiciary remains unshaken. Every discerning person knows that NNPP won in all the elections in Kano State. The APC knew right from the very beginning that it was hugely unpopular in Kano State, that led it to declare “total war on the people of the State during the last election. You will recall that a sitting member of the House of Representatives led a group of hired hooligans to our Secretariat and burnt down the building with our members inside, and committed cold blooded mass murder of innocent people in broad daylight.
“The blood of those murdered during the election is crying for justice and will continue to haunt the perpetrators to their own ultimate end. This and many other wanton lawlessness visited on the people of Kano State without some of those in law enforcement raising a voice, much less lifting a finger, are part of the reasons why they would want to spare no efforts in attempting to mount this electoral heist in broad daylight, by all indecent means, and rob the people of Kano State of the mandate they’ve freely given to their Governor. But we have bad news for them. They have already failed because, like all brazen daylight robberies, the perpetrators are known, and the exercise will ultimately prove futile.
“The NNPP recalls with regret that this Tribunal has simply replayed the unholy script of 2019 by overturning the will of the people and awarding election results to those who evidently and glaringly proven to have lost the election.
” The NNPP will appeal this most unfair judgement. We call on our millions of supporters in Kano and in the rest of the country to remain calm, be law abiding, and maintain the peace. This glaringly lopsided Judgement cannot stand the test of natural justice and fair play.
“At this juncture, it is pertinent to ask why is the guilty running when no one is pursuing them? After attempting to steal the people’s mandate, they declared a 24-hour curfew on the State. After depriving the people of the sacred mandate they have freely give to their Governor, the desperate politicians also want to deprive the people of their God-given freedom of expression and freedom of movement as well as, indeed, their livelihood. As if the insult visited on the people of Kano State yesterday was not enough, they are restricting them to their houses. The poor people have nothing to eat inside their houses. And now they cannot go out to look for their daily bread because those who want to ste! their mandate are scared of the people.
“We call on the Judiciary to do the needful. We look forward to a more impartial judgement in the next round of litigation.”