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Labour Party, PDP Express shock As US Report says 2023 poll Reflected Nigerians will

Labour Party, PDP Express shock As US Report says 2023 poll Reflected Nigerians will

Tinubu Atiku Obi

The opposition Labour Party, LP, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, expressed shock over how the United States 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices arrived at its conclusion that the 2023 polls reflected the will of Nigerians, despite widespread irregularities.

However, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Presidency hailed the report but said the party did not need external validation of its victories at the polls.

The report published by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, US Department of State, highlighted human rights practices and violations in different countries, including Nigeria.

It said the last general elections in Nigeria reflected the will of the populace, despite widespread irregularities.

Picking holes in the conclusion, LP and PDP said they are committed to deepening democracy in Nigeria and averting a one-party state.

The report also stated that the Nigerian government has not “consistently” implemented anti-corruption laws.
It said there was “widespread” corruption across the country, including the judiciary.

“In August, President Tinubu appointed former Governor Abubakar Bagudu, the Minister of Budget, despite Bagudu’s widely reported history of helping then-President Sani Abacha steal hundreds of millions of dollars from the government in the 1990s,’’ the report stated.

However, the two main opposition political parties, the PDP and the LP, in reaction to the report, restated their commitment to the development of democracy in Nigeria, despite its shortcomings.

National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, in a telephone chat with newsmen said: “I am yet to read the report but one thing we, as a party, can assure Nigerians is that we remain committed to the advancement of democracy in our country.
“We are also committed to ensuring that our country does not become a one-party state or slide into dictatorship.”

Speaking in a similar vein, his counterpart in the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, said: “With all said and done, we take solace in the fact that the report was fair enough to admit that there were irregularities, including but not limited to vote buying, ballot box snatching, intimidation and physical attacks on our party supporters, especially in Lagos.

“The report was magnanimous enough to note that supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, suppressed votes in areas dominated by our supporters during the March 2023 governorship election in Lagos.

“To say the outcome of such an election reflects the majority view of Nigerians is left for the people to judge. Our commitment to the development of democracy in Nigeria remains unshakable.”

Speaking in like manner, the Presidency through the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, said INEC “conducted a free and fair election.’’

He noted that there is nowhere in the world the electoral umpire conducted a 100 per cent error-free election.
His words: “INEC conducted a free and fair election. We don’t need any foreign country to validate or make our election free and fair.

“The report doesn’t require any validation. As far as we are concerned, it was a free and fair election. We (the All Progressives Congress) won the election.”

The presidential aide also debunked the allegation of voter suppression in Lagos State.

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