Monday, November 21, 2011


22nd November, 2011



The People's Democratic Party (PDP) ignored a court order restraining it from conducting fresh gubernatorial primaries in Bayelsa State at the weekend. The court order which was obtained by Governor Timipre Sylva was conspicuously pasted by the court bailiff at the gate of the PDP headquarters, Wadata House, Abuja, last Wednesday 16th November, 2011. Even the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) washed its hands off the exercise on the basis of the court pronouncement.  Yet the PDP went ahead to conduct the primaries.        

This action of Nigeria's ruling party has sent the wrong signals to observers of Nigeria's nascent democracy at both local and international levels. The PDP is now seen as an arrogant and intolerant party led by a power-drunk oligarchy. This party appears bent on taking Nigeria to a vicious dictatorship. Any institution, group or individual that has no respect for the rule of law has no business playing a central role in a democracy.

It is important to note that the Bayelsa experience is a case study in political maturity and tolerance. The PDP has failed this test. Bayelsa is the home of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, only the best democratic practices are good enough for Bayelsa. But what we witnessed in the PDP primaries during the weekend was politics of exclusion, belligerence and naked aggression.

President Jonathan practically took Governor Sylva to the cleaners. The president did not hide his personal involvement in the Bayelsa affair as hundreds of soldiers and policemen were drafted to the state for the primaries. This is uncalled for, unconventional and unacceptable. Why must soldiers be involved in ordinary state primaries? It was an overkill.   Jonathan killed a fly with a sledge hammer. What are Nigerians to expect during the real gubernatorial election if an intra-party primaries is treated like World World III?

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) calls on INEC to reject the outcome of the PDP primaries in Bayelsa. It was not free and fair. It was unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional exercise. It was sheer hocus-pocus. The PDP national executives acted ultra vires.  We therefore urge INEC to declare the election null and void.

The exclusion of Timipre Sylva, a sitting governor, shows that our politicians have learnt no lesson at all. It also shows that PDP as a party is an enemy of democracy. Whereas Nigeria's constitution allows every citizen to vote and be voted for, PDP demonstrated its disgust for the fundamental human rights of Governor Sylva. This is an affront on the Nigerian constitution. If they can do it to a whole governor, then there is no hope for an ordinary citizen getting his right under a PDP government.

Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Is-haq Akintola (Ph.D),
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),
Yahoo Group:
Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace

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