Dr. Junaid Mohammed, elder statesman and Second Republic federal lawmaker, on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari and those around him have concluded plans to bar certain Nigerians from contesting in 2023 general elections.
While urging those behind the plot to perish the idea, he said doing so is totally undemocratic and unconstitutional and may put the nation’s democracy in grave danger.
Speaking with Daily Independent, Junaid, who refused to mention names of those involved, said certain individuals have hijacked the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and are working to use the party to advance their personal interests.
While condemning the dissolution of the ward, local, state and zonal structures of the APC, Junaid said members of the party have elevated President Muhammadu Buhari to the position of a demi-god whose authority cannot be questioned.
He said the latest development in the APC shows that the whole thing is nothing but sinister plan.
“There are some people who are determined to perpetuate themselves in power and there is also a group within the APC, especially those around Buhari, who are determined to deny certain people their constitutional right to contest for elections. I don’t want to mention names but every Nigerian who is alive today, including a baby, knows that there are advanced plan to make sure that certain people don’t get the opportunity to contest the forthcoming presidential election in 2023″.
“Now, this can never happen in a democracy, except of course what we are practising is not democracy but a joke. In a democracy, you should allow people to contest election and people who are members of the party must be given the level playing field to exercise their rights to go and stand for election, canvass for votes and of course, get the position they are trying to canvass for.
“But things look so funny. First, the leadership of the party was dissolved and Oshiomhole was elected. Later, Oshiomhole was sacked and somebody else was appointed. The sacking and reappointment, according to them, was done by the president, through the NEC.
“But there is nowhere in the constitution where the president has the power to dissolve any of the organs of the party at any level. The constitution of the party provides for what to be done by who and under what circumstances.
“But somehow, they have now elevated the president to the position of demi-god. Whatever he says must happen as if the party is his personal property. That shows you that we are not dealing with a democratic dispensation, party or a democratic leader”.
Junaid, who also condemned the appointment of Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe as the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the APC, said the action of the party shows total disregard for the people of Yobe who voted for the party.
According to him, Nigerians shouldn’t expect a free, fair election in 2023 as APC leaders are determined to perpetuate themselves in power.
“Next, they appointed a man who has a full time job for which he is paid fully, in addition with other benefits he derives. A man who is elected the so-called governor of Yobe State.
“Now, nobody has told us why out of the millions of card-carrying members of APC, only this man is qualified to hold two jobs, governor of a state and caretaker committee chairman of a political party. This shows the utter hypocrisy, irresponsibility and complete disregard for the people of Yobe State. These people should be ashamed of themselves.
“After that illegality, they now gave six months extension to the caretaker committee which is an illegal contraption to continue in office. I’m utterly ashamed in the presidency, in the party and among the people who are running the interim arrangement. They should be ashamed of themselves”.
“Nobody can convince me that these characters can organise party in a democratic manner and lead that party into an election which is peaceful and credible. I have my doubts. They are even making attempts to lure former President Goodluck Jonathan to come and contest the 2023 presidential election and they said if he agrees to contest, they will rig the election in his favour.
“That shows you that anybody who has any wishful thinking that there is going to be a credible election come 2023 should perish the thought. These people are determined to rig the election and have their way”, he said.