The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the All Progressives Congress’ agenda to threaten Nigerians to submission will not work as neither the people nor the party can be cowed.
In an apparent reaction to a statement by Festus Keyamo, Director, Public Affairs to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the National Publicity Secretary of the main opposition party, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement on Saturday, said that Nigerians must be allowed to express themselves in a democracy as long as they do so peacefully.
Recall that in a statement earlier issued on Saturday, titled, “Press Statement on planned protests by opposition parties: Our silence is not cowardice,” Keyamo had accused the opposition of plotting to truncate inauguration of Tinubu as president.
But Ologunagba said the ruling party should recognise that Nigeria is a democracy and not an autocracy with an emperor.
“APC should recognise the fact that Nigerians cannot be cowed. Surely and clearly, PDP will not be cowed.
“We are in a democracy, not in an autocracy. We are not in an empire where you have an emperor, and people have a right to express themselves in a democracy provided it’s peaceful.
“That’s what we believed in. We believe in the peaceful expression of views. I’ve not had the privilege of looking at that statement. But it is consistent with the misfortune that has befallen this country in the last eight years where the government believe they can threaten people, they can force them and coerce them to submission.
“There have been cases before the tribunals and the issue is to challenge, it’s a process. INEC has made its declaration and we are saying those declarations are against the will of the people. So, it is for the courts to, if they truly believe in the rule of law like we do, when people express their opinion, they should just allow the process to go through.
“Threatening people, if that’s the agenda or the plan, it is dead on arrival.
“And coming from that source, for me, what we try to do is to focus on what we are doing, follow the rule of law; we are in court, we are processing it and INEC must be held accountable because it is a public institution that draws all the money from our taxes, they are responsible.
“For us as a party, we don’t want to be distracted by some comments that are probably lazy comments, out of frustration, out of the fact that you know you want to snatch something and run away with it and we are saying no, you can’t run with it,” he said.
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