Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 25 election, Atiku Abubakar, has called on the opposition parties in the country to close ranks and check the excesses of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Atiku, who spoke while hosting the National Executive Committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council Nigeria in his House, warned against the likelihood of Nigeria slipping to a one-party state, urging the opposition to close ranks.
The former Vice President said the project of protecting democracy in the country was not about just one man.
Addressing the IPAC members, Atiku said, “You have come here today to say that we should cooperate in order to promote democracy.
“But the truth of the matter is that our democracy is fast becoming a one-party system; and, of course, you know that when we have a one party system, we should just forget about democracy.”
He tasked the leadership of IPAC, led by its National President, Yabagi Sani, on the need for the opposition political parties to come together and create a more formidable front that would salvage Nigeria’s democracy from sliding into a one-party state.
He said, “We have all seen how the APC is increasingly turning Nigeria into a dictatorship of one party. If we don’t come together to challenge what the ruling party is trying to create, our democracy will suffer for it, and the consequences of it will affect the generations yet unborn.”
The PDP presidential flagbearer upbraided the Independent National Electoral Commission for conducting the “worst ever general elections in the country.
Atiku said, “The Independent National Electoral Commission conducted the worst general election in the country.
“Recently again in the off-season election in three states, INEC doubled down on its disregard for the tenets of our democracy.
“We all can see how INEC declared a result in Kogi State where the total number of votes cast was higher than the total number of accredited voters in one local government.
“Until our elections pass the test of transparency through electronic voting, it will be difficult for INEC to regain its credibility, and our democracy will be the first casualty of such a situation.”
Responding, IPAC leader, Sani, said the group chose to come and pay courtesy visit to Atiku because the former Vice President is a true democrat and a political leader who treads the path of detribalization and politics without violence.
IPAC president observed that notwithstanding the glaring shortcomings associated with our elections, democracy remains the best form of government.