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There’ll be no May 29, say NUD, civil society groups

Posted by By YINKA FABOWALE on 2007/05/16 | Views: 1014 |

There’ll be no May 29, say NUD, civil society groups


Opposition to the outcome of last month’s general elections got a shot in the arm Tuesday as a coalition of civil society groups led by Nigerians United for Democracy (NUD) swore that there would be no inauguration of those elected in what they called the “sham” polls, anywhere in the country on May 29.

Opposition to the outcome of last month’s general elections got a shot in the arm Tuesday as a coalition of civil society groups led by Nigerians United for Democracy (NUD) swore that there would be no inauguration of those elected in what they called the “sham” polls, anywhere in the country on May 29.

To this end, the coalition is mobilizing Nigerians for civil disobedience it hoped would usher in an interim government that would sustain normal administration, organize and conduct credible elections “to salvage the failed democracy under which the country had tottered and staggered these past eight years.”

The interim government, according to them, will also determine the national direction with regard to, among other things, expunging immunity for criminal office holders and devolution of powers to the geo-political zones, at the moment abandoned to a laissez-faire status due to endemic corruption.

NUD leader, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, revealed the group’s plan at the launching of a compendium entitled ‘Mirror of a Fraudulent Election,’ detailing alleged atrocities and fraud that typified the polls which have been universally condemned as grossly flawed.

Braithwaite, whose rhetoric dripped with passion and anger said the elections amounted to electoral robbery of and wanton injustice against Nigerians living and yet unborn.
“Let me start by saying that there is no way that our nation will accept results of those ‘elections’ purportedly conducted by the Obasanjo administration through its Subservient Electoral Commission – SUBEC (It styles itself ‘Independent National Electoral Commission. Henceforth, it shall be called SUBEC, for posterity,)” the veteran lawyer and politician declared, remarking that democracy was a far more sublime and happiness – promoting way of governance than just white-washing the electoral process that leaves a trail of post-election rancour, bloodshed and bitterness.

According to him, the result of an election allegedly characterized by the most reprehensible undemocratic practices, ever manifested in any country in the world should not be allowed to stand and become a veritable avenue for empowering dubious characters, thus aggravating Nigeria’s endemic twin social problems of corruption and poverty.

He observed further that “the criminal brazenness, desperation and lust for power by all means which were abundantly mirrored in the recent sham election had brought the country into disrepute within the comity of nations and will permanently tarnish our national image if no effort at restitution through total rejection thereof is undertaken…
“In our collective judgment, any move towards inauguration activities as well as cheap global marketing of the products of this democratic fraud is capable of taking Nigeria’s march to true democracy and the evolution of a glorious political future, at least 50 years, if not a whole century, backward.”

Dr. Braithwaite condemned pacifists counseling “acceptance of the heinous crime of Nigeria’s election 2007,” describing them as hypocrites and false apostles of peace. “Their purpose,” he said, was far from the peace they canvass (about which they know nothing). Rather, their objective is to continue their rapacious looting of the Nigerian treasury, through their evil relationship and camaraderie with those who control the government of corruption.

“These hypocrites, if they are not ignored, would unwittingly bring the gory images of Somalia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia and Iraq to grim reality here,” he said.
“We are definitely going to resist this, because this is a defining moment. We call on the police and all law-enforcement agencies to join us, and not oppose us in righting the many ills of our time.

It is a defining moment. The barons of corruption have lost the war and we compatriots, have an obligation to consolidate the victory of justice over the anguish of injustice. It is a defining moment. They must not allow themselves to be used for evil purpose of oppression, suppression and shedding of blood of Nigerian citizens because such a misdirection of their energy will not only be fruitless, it will certainly produce a grotesque backlash for them.”

The politician promised that the peaceful protest and sit-ins by the populace on 17th and 18th May would be complemented by protest marches by civil rights groups.
He urged Nigerians and the country’s international friends not to be deceived into thinking that this was “just another rigging,” maintaining that: “It was a perfidious act of monumental dimensions.” He stressed that the sole mission of the civic actions is to clean out the suffocating stench choking life out of an otherwise promising nation.

Citing constitutional provisions, Braithwaite observed that sovereignty belonged to the people and that the supreme law of the country did not envisage the brigandage that characterised the April polls. The effect of this, he said among other things was that there would be no inauguration anywhere in Nigeria with the overwhelming documentation of electoral fraud, loss of human lives and complicity by electoral and employed ad-hoc officials highlighted in the compendium.

He suggested that reasonable time be given to the interim administration to enable it properly lay a solid foundation for credible elections that would promote real democracy.

Also speaking on the occasion that paraded array of personalities such as Solomon Lar, Femi Falana, Vice President Atiku’s representative, Professor (Mrs) Tomi Adekanye, Tom Ikimi, Lai Mohammed, Tunde Thompson and Biodun Aremu of the United Action for Democracy (UAD), General Muhamadu Buhari said: “I have said it time without number that the ball is in Nigerians’ court to decide whether they want to be sentenced to eternal slavery. This election should not be accepted.

“I and our party are putting our facts together to go to the court. But we were in court for 30 months over the 2003 elections. 2007 election is not different from the 2003 one, it is just that worse things happened in 2007, where we witnessed bastardization of the electoral process and humiliation of Nigerians at the polls.

“It will be a failure on the part of the Nigerian elites if they fail to lead Nigerians to reject the elections. They must come together to ensure that the election does not stand. Nigeria elites have to come out to physically stop the results of the elections from being sustained.”

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.