Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Wednesday, alleged that a group he described as “dictatorial cabal” has sabotaged Nigeria’s judiciary, and is working vigorously to dismantle the democratic progress the country has made since 1999.
The Peoples Democratic Pparty, PDP, candidate in the February 23, 2019 presidential vote made the declaration in his response to the verdict of the Supreme Court which threw out his appeal saying it lacked merit.
In the response, Atiku fingered a “dictatorial cabal” who he said shackled the judiciary and stunted Nigeria’s democratic progress. .
“The Nigerian judiciary,” said Atiku, “just like every estate of our realm, has been sabotaged and undermined by an overreaching and dictatorial cabal, who have undone almost all the democratic progress the Peoples Democratic Party and its administrations nurtured for sixteen years, up until 2015.
“Can Nigeria continue like this? Recently, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, averred that Nigeria had rolled back the democratic gains she made in 2015. When democracy is rolled back, the economy, the society and the judiciary will not be far behind.
“Today, the nail has been put on the coffin and the gains we collectively made since 1999 are evaporating, and a requiem is at hand.”
The former Vice President was not done. He restated the pillars of democracy as including: a strong judiciary, a free press, and an impartial electoral umpire, adding that, “Nigeria has none of those three elements as at today.”
Atiku played he statesman’s card when he declared that the Supreme Court verdict can never break his spirit and commitment to Fatherland.
“To those who think they have broken my spirit,” he said, “I am sorry to disappoint you.
“I am too focused on Nigeria to think about myself. I gave up that luxury twenty years ago. The question is not if I am broken. The question is if Nigeria is whole?
“This is not a time for too many words. It will suffice for me to remind Nigeria of this — we are an independent nation and we are the architects of our fate. If we do not build a free Nigeria, we may end up destroying her, and God forbid that that should be the case.”
Atiku renewed his determination to keep “fighting for Nigeria and for democracy, and also for justice”.