The governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who are operating under the aegis of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), have advised the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to stop castigating the judiciary.
The PGF Chairman and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, in a statement issued on Saturday (today) on behalf of his colleagues, condemned the PDP for saying that the judiciary had not only been compromised but also lost its credibility after losing the governorship seat in Imo State at the Supreme Court.
The PDP had alleged that the APC was planning to use the Supreme Court to take over power in Sokoto, Bauchi, Adamawa and Benue states.
But Bagudu, who said the allegations were depressing, contemptuous, and disrespectful to democracy, underscored the need to prevail on the PDP leadership and all politicians to exercise restraint by demonstrating loyalty and respect for democratic institutions, particularly the judiciary, which is the most important pillar of democratic governance.
The statement read: “Following the verdict of the Supreme Court in respect of Imo State election petition, which declared Sen. Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the March 9, 2019 Governorship election, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) proclaimed the judgement as ‘miscarriage of justice’ and alleged that the judiciary is ‘heavily compromised’ and has ‘lost credibility’.
“These are depressing allegations coming from supposedly democratic leaders who should ordinarily be in the forefront of protecting and defending the judicial institution as the sanctuary of our democracy. It is contemptuous and disrespectful to our democracy.
“This is most unfortunate and condemnable. We call on Nigerians and all lovers of democracy in the country to rise to the defence of our democratic institutions, especially the judiciary.
“We must prevail on the PDP leadership and all politicians to exercise restraint by demonstrating unalloyed loyalty and respect for our democratic institutions, particularly our judiciary, which is the most important pillar of democratic governance.
“To allege that a judgement delivered by Supreme Court Judges is ‘procured’ simply because it does not favour the PDP is an invitation to anarchy.
“It is on record that President Muhammadu Buhari has, at all times, stated his commitment to democracy and rule of law. Our party has lost elections we thought we will win. Equally, our party has been stopped from participation in elections by the judiciary, for example in Rivers State.
“The case of Zamfara where we won the election but the Supreme Court in its wisdom nullified all our votes and declared PDP candidates as winners is another experience.
“In addition, our party members have lost many cases, and even though our views differ from the judgement delivered, we do not disparage the judiciary, yet our views of the judgement differ from the court.
“As Progressive Governors, we hereby declare abiding faith in our judiciary and will at all times respect all decisions of our Judges at all levels no matter the circumstances. Our party and our members believe in the sanctity of our judicial institution as the last hope for justice for our people.
“We wish to unequivocally state our resolve to work with all democrats in the country to ensure adequate protection of democratic governance by respecting all judgements from our courts!”