Presidency on Monday called on Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stop the “blackmail” of President Bola Tinubu and the judiciary over the loss of elections.
Last week, Atiku called on opposition parties to form a coalition against the ruling party, saying the All Progressives Congress is turning Nigeria into “a dictatorship of one party”.
A few days later, the PDP called for a review of what it described as “biased” verdicts delivered by election panels set up to entertain petitions from the polls.
The statement by Umar Damagum, acting national chairman of the PDP, urged Nigerians to rise and defend the “integrity of our judicial system and stem a looming crisis in our beloved country”.
However, the allegations by Atiku and the PDP have been condemned by members of the ruling party.
In a statement on Monday, Bayo Onanuga, presidential aide, described the claims as “wild and libellous” and born out of PDP’s desperation to “hang their woes on President Tinubu and the judiciary”.
“President Tinubu is a democrat to the core. We make bold to say that as president, he has not interfered with the judgment of the judiciary,” Onanuga said.
“We had witnessed how, under his watch, the PDP governor in Osun defeated the APC at the Supreme Court. Similarly, the PDP Governor in Bauchi also won his case in the Appeal court, beating the APC.
“President Tinubu is also not planning to impose a one-party state as Atiku has serially alleged and his party and spokesman have now parroted.
“Unlike Atiku Abubakar, President Tinubu’s record as a democrat par excellence and a strong advocate of the rule of law has been globally acknowledged.
“His record of service as governor, which witnessed giant strides in various facets of the state, was responsible for the dominance of his political structure in Lagos and not by any undemocratic conduct, as Atiku Abubakar wants the public to believe.
“While Atiku and PDP are now crying wolf over the Appeal Court rulings on governorship polls in Plateau, Zamfara and Nasarawa States, we hasten to ask the former Vice President where he was in 2019 when the court ruled against All Progressives Congress in Zamfara State. The court then awarded all the positions won by the APC to PDP.
“We once again implore Atiku and PDP to stop their campaign of calumny and blackmail against the judiciary and the honourable judges and justices.
“Judgments are based on law and evidence. In election petition cases, they are based on the Electoral Act and the Constitution, not on sentiments and emotions.
“It is irresponsible and a disservice to our country for the opposition, after failing to observe the letters and spirits of the law, to now turn around to tear down an important arm of our government.”