The Plateau State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress APC, has again descend and backlash the People’s Democratic Party PDP over it threats against the judiciary.
A statement made available to this medium and was signed by Hon. Sylvanus Namang,
APC State Publicity Secretary stated that they read, with great surprise and concern the text of a so-called World Press Conference addressed on Monday 30th October, 2023 by a sponsored group which calls itself “Forum of Youth Leaders (Veterans) in Plateau State”. Whatever that means is a matter of conjecture.
The text of the said World Press Conference which trended on the social and a few print media is yet another in the series of those serial damning indictments on the integrity of Judges and the Judiciary which the PDP is well known for.
As part of its usual bluffs in the State-sponsored World Press Conference, the Party came out to slam the Court of Appeal over its meticulous and landmark Judgments in the Petitions against Hon. Simon Mwadkwon, Hon. Musa Agah and Hon. Isaac Kwallu of the PDP. To quote a segment of the Press Conference:
“The Court as an umpire must be able to see that what is more important at this point is the issue of locus standi, legitimacy, popularity and aftermath of any further decision rather that (sic) legal sophistication”.
What a way to interprete a judgement of a Court of competent jurisdiction which is next to the apex Court of the land! We can see that the so-called “Forum of Youth Leaders (Veterans)” has been mischievously sponsored to “usurp” the power of the Courts as conferred by Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
It is sad that the structureless PDP and its sinking State Government have taken it upon themselves the role of interpreting judgments, through their parochial sentiments. The same Party has continued to dominate the social media space with such vain interpretations, often laced with threats of violence and anarchy against our learned jurists and the state. But the Law does not pander to parochial sentiments or social media threats.
We thus align ourselves with the position of learned Inyang Okoro (JSC) the Presiding Justice of the Supreme Court which determined the Presidential Election Petitions last week. According to him:
“Using the social media to terrorize the Justices of the Supreme Court by the appellants is appalling and unprofessional”.
Also, we totally and respectfully agree with the position of His Lordship the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, GCON when he declared that:
“Judges will not be distracted by either threats or intimidation while adjucating over an issue or matter but would act without fear or favour”.
This warning by the apex Court which should have been taken seriously is still being ignored by the PDP which has a habit of disrespecting court orders.
It is a fact that political demagoguery, as espoused by the PDP in the State, is a threat to our democracy, the independence of the Judiciary and the rule of law. But the inflaming of passion by the PDP in Plateau state which has dominated without end the media space are the mere ranting of an ant. Indeed, in the words of William Shakespeare, these are “tale told by an id*t, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.
The Courts are made of men and women of steel hearts and courage who have taken an oath to be fair to all irrespective of one’s status or standing. That is why they normally take time to ventilate and decifer issues in accordance with their noble roles to humanity and God.
In their hopeless bid, the PDP through the above so-called Forum with one Yakubu Itse as its Chairman, unwittingly tried to drag President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, an avowed respecter of the rule of law into their shenanigans by appealing to him “to rise to the occasion of defending our evolving democracy” after appealing to the NJC and the CJN to take urgent steps to address “lack of morality and justice in the Judicial system particularly the Court of Appeal in Abuja”.
Apart from the above Forum, the APC and Plateau people in particular, have witnessed instances of the PDP using pseudo groups who have been falling over each other calling for the heads of the Justices that passed judgments against the party and several other infantile moves directly by the party, which included the writing of petitions against these respected Judges for daring to pass judgments against their candidates.
These ventures amount to mere shadow chasing. The PDP knows its problems of lack of respect for Court Orders and its LACK of STRUCTURE which it has defiantly refused to address since 2021. Going round in circles and blame game can never pull the party out of its already messy situation. The judgments against the candidates of the PDP so far have a stamp of finality. Nothing would change the situation except for the worse as without pre- empting, the APC in the state is waiting for the big verdict of its appeal at the Governorship Appeal Tribunal and possibly the Supreme Court, as we are aware that they will employ the tactics of buying time instead of surrendering.
The APC notes the bold face of Governor Caleb Mannasseh Mutfwang, at a reception for him after his return from a very wasteful one month trip to the United States of America on Monday 30th October, 2023 when he stated inter alia that:
“We are neither moved nor shaken by the current happenings. All the noise being made are from empty gongs. Whatever we have before us is a child’s play and we cannot be terrified” He continued: “Only if they know, they would have worked on the size of the grave they are digging”!
He has a penchant for spewing invectives and vitriolics at his acclaimed opponents. We remember when he once boasted at a similar reception for him at Langfield Events Center when he said that after God is government. It must have now dawned on him that before God in the present situation are the Appeal Tribunal and the Supreme Court which he has a date with in the weeks to come in the Appeal filed by the APC against the lower Tribunal judgment.
This is coming from the same Governor who claims he respects the Judiciary and the Judges. They are the ones who by God’s grace have been charged with the responsibility of deciding his fate as the God we serve is not a respecter of man but who remains the God of justice whose judgment is not partial.
Out of desperation and the obvious fear of losing out inspite of his vain assurances to his members and supporters in Plateau State, he has shifted the battle to Abuja where enormous resources which are supposedto be utilised for the welfare of Plateau people are being heavily shipped to wage vain propaganda against the Appeal Court Judges.
The APC in Plateau state takes very strong exception to the preposterous and hypocritical position of the PDP Governors’ Forum under the Chairmanship of the governor of Bauchi state, Senator Bala Mohammed who wants to use the Plateau case as a launching pad for his 2027 Presidential ambition.
The PDP Governors’ Forum expression of concern on the Plateau Appeal Court Judgments while addressing the press in Abuja, smacks of dishonesty and it is as contemptuous as it is double standard.
The PDP Governors are either feigning ignorance of the LACK of STRUCTURE of the PDP in Plateau State which has been the subject of multiple court orders, or it is deliberately using its Forum to blackmail or intimidate the Judges which is unacceptable to the APC in Plateau state.
This unnecessary interference must stop as the PDP both in Plateau and now the National level have praised Judges where judgments are passed in it favour especially the Justice Rotimi- led faulty Tribunal judgments which the APC appealed against. Why single out the ones that have to do with Plateau APC and other parties for condemnation?
Equally saddening is the ridiculous petition by the Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Amb. Umar Iliya Damagum demanding the disbanding of the 3-man panel of Appeal Court Judges who passed three judgments against the PDP, judgments which remain very sound, appropriate and unassailable and which will stand the test of time.
We are more irked and appalled by the Press Conference by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba yesterday calling for the disbanding of the Plateau State Election Petitions Panel over its passing of “varying and conflicting judgments” and which he mischievously and openly accused these most respected Appeal Court Judges of corruption and compromise!
This strange behaviour by the PDP must be checkmated and condemned by all discerning minds if our democracy must work unfettered.
We warn the PDP at all levels not to overheat the polity through its megalomania.
In the Press Conference too, the PDP National Publicity Secretary mischievously called for the review of the judgments even when he knows too well that these judgments at that level of National Assembly Election Petitios are final.
The PDP which seems to have lost its sense of history should be reminded that in 2019, the Plateau scenario played out in Zamfara and Bayelsa states.
In the case of Zamfara State in particular, due to infighting as is currently the case of Plateau State PDP with more intense infighting, the APC gubernatorial candidate, Alh. Mukhtar Shehu Idris polled 534,541 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Bello Matawalle who came a distant second with 189, 452 votes, a whooping margin of 354, 089 votes.
Inspite of this staggering victory, the Supreme Court 10 months after, in March 2020, nullified the APC’s victory at all levels in the state and none of the elected persons in Zamfara state spent a day longer in office.
The state under an APC-led Federal Government fell due to unresolved infighting as the case of Plateau State since 2021.
The APC hierarchy in Zamfara state, unlike Plateau State, demonstrated maturity and accepted blames, licked its wounds and forged ahead. Heavens did not fall just as it would not certainly fall if the cases and the remaining ones go against the PDP in Plateau state.
David Lyon Perewonrimi case in Bayelsa state, as painful as it was, while he was rehearsing to be sworn – in, less than 24 hours, the Supreme Court ruled against his victory. He took it with equanimity. He was an APC gubernatorial candidate. The beneficiary, Duoye Diri of PDP who came a distant second was immediately sworn-in. President Muhammadu Buhari swiftly congratulated him. That is civilised politicking.
We want to warn in very strong terms the PDP and all those instigating uprising in Plateau state as a result of judicial pronouncements in the state to better perish their thoughts as “No weapons formed against Plateau State will prospere”.
Let it be on record that Plateau State belongs to all of us and we will continue to resist this holier than thou attitude or one group claiming to have more rights than others. This is rather a sad commentary on our political culture as very civilised and accommodating people.
The APC equally warns against the planned occupation of public spaces including Court premises under the guise of sponsored protests by the PDP against the fair and unassailable judgments by the Appeal Courts last week which more are underway.
Let us also warn the PDP- led government in Plateau State that in the event of a breakdown of law and order, a state of emergency can be declared which we will hold the party wholly responsible.
Let us state for the umpteenth time our total support and respect for the Judiciary and the Judges at all levels. We have stated so even when there were some rulings against our party at the lower Tribunals which we choice the path of honour and appealed against the verdicts which we are now obtaining justice.
We reiterate that heavens will not fall if power slips off the PDP in Plateau state arising from the messy situation it has put itself in.
Finally, the PDP should allow our democracy to thrive instead of overheating the system unnecessarily.