The world superpowers have been urged to save Nigeria’s democracy , accusing the judiciary and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of compromise.
A pressure group, Nigeria Democratic Vanguard, established to enhance democracy in the country, made this assertion in a letter dated November 27, 2023, addressed to the President of the United States on Nigeria, Joe Biden; the President of France, Emmunuel Macron, and the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.
The letter, titled, “Dark Clouds Over Nigeria’s Democracy and Consequences for the West Africa Subcontitent” and signed by chairman of the group, Mustapha Rabiu Salisu and the Secretary, Rabiu Tahir, reads: “It is with highest regards for your office and person that we the undersigned with to forward our urgent concerns about the imminent grave political danger in Nigeria; we are deeply anxious that Africa’s supposed leading and largest democracy is beginning to stagger and stumble precariously.
“About twenty four (24) years after the nation’s hard-won freedom from prolonged military dictatorship in 1999 and return to civil rule, lugubrious clouds are beginning to cluster on the horizon of our democracy. While our democratic journey has not been accident-free in the over two decades of the civilizing experience, but the contemporary 2023 election experience does bear unique nightmarish peculiarities. Both local and international election observer groups (including the European Union) have declared the series of 2023 elections across the country as manipulated, rigged and violence-ridden.
“It is incontestable that the APC national leadership is targeting Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State to fight to finish its northwest (the most populous zone in Nigeria) despicable, political agenda. The APC new leadership has already started plotting for the 2027 election, trying to put on the saddle of leadership, governors of the party to make it easy to rig the most corrupt judiciary in the world to ise technicalities to quash elections in opposition states. The same Nigerian judiciary closed its eyes on certificate forgery allegedly committed by President Bola Tinubu at Chicago State University.
“Your Excellency, it is not only the judiciary that has been compromised by the APC federal government, the Independent National Election Commission that is supposed to be non-partisan arbiter is also fully engrossed in working in tandem with the ruling party to aid and abet its crime. If this is left unchecked by all Democrats like your Excellency across the world, Nigeria may be plunged into a conflagration capable of burning the West African sub region.
“We appeal to your Excellency as a true Democrat to do whatever is humanly possible to call these culprits to order to save democracy in Nigeria, in particular and the West African sub region in general.
“After due consideration, an effective response to the aforementioned facts from the international community, could potentially be affected by the introduction of sanctions imposed on designated individuals under legislation introduced following the Magnitsky Act 2012 and wider legislation that followed in 2016 (Global Magnitsky Act) together with the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020.
“Any sanctions imposed against designated persons by the international community, clearly would be a signal of the recognition of the ongoing corruption within the Nigeria judiciary and interference in due democratic process by the ruling APC party; in turn effectively re-balancing the democratic process in Nigeria back in favor of the electorate.”