The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has called on Nigerian voters and lovers of democracy across the world to be wary of “the antics” of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), accusing the party of appearing “to be pro-democrats and at the same time circumventing democratic norms.”
In a statement by its secretary-general, Chief Willy Ezugwu, to commemorate Democracy Day, CNPP noted that the APC-led government has carried on “theoretically” in the last six years as pro-June 12, but has, in practice, exhibited anti-democratic tendencies, either by oversight or consciously.
It said: “The All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government has carried on theoretically in the last six years as pro-June 12 and all that the June 12, 1993 presidential election represented in, especially by instituting June 12 as a Democracy Day, but in practice has exhibited anti-democratic tendencies, either by oversight or consciously.
“Two of the fundamental elements of democracy are periodic elections and respect for rule of law. These basic ingredients of democracy have been unacceptably undermined in the last six years.”
It said further: “The APC won the presidential election. For the first time in the history of the country, an opposition party’s candidate beat an incumbent president in an election that was globally heralded as free and fair.
“This was attested to by the fact that the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), never challenged the outcome of the presidential polls in court.
“Has the APC improved on acceptance of election outcomes in the country in the last six years? Are our elections better? Do citizens have more confidence in the electoral process today?
“Second, under the APC government, how have we fared as a country in terms of respect for the rule of law? The APC government shocked Nigerians early enough through consistent disregard for the court orders. Most Nigerians are aware that the federal government has remained selective on orders of the court to obey or disrespect.”
It noted that while June 12 will continue to remain relevant in political discourse in Nigeria, many anti-democratic individuals have continued to gain access into the corridors of power under the guise of June 12 supporters.
CNPP said it is time for the people to begin self-appraisals ahead of the 2023 general elections to ensure that Nigerians benefit from what June 12 epitomises, rather than turning the symbolisms of the annulled most free and fair election as a gate-pass to power by politicians and their cronies.