A pro-democracy group, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC), has appealed to the judiciary to truthfully and fairly deploy the constitution in defence of democracy at this critical moment in Ondo state and prevent anarchy that could truncate democracy in Nigeria.
“We fear that the rising tension in Ondo State, especially against the backdrop of the 1983 experience, is capable of truncating this democracy, except the judiciary comes to the rescue,” CDNDC warned in a statement by its co-convener, Mr Ariyo-Dare Atoye.
The group expressed sadness that a major political incident that led to the fall of the second republic in 1983 is gradually building up in the polity, warning that only the emplacement of electoral Justice could save the current democratic journey.
According to the group: “The failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to defend democracy and do what is right and just to political parties, is creating serious tension in the land and threatening our democracy.
“With every sense of responsibility, we state that the latest electoral insurrection by INEC in illegally and wickedly substituting a validly nominated candidate for a meddlesome interloper and a busybody who arm-twisted the Judiciary to obtain a fraudulent order must never be allowed to stand by the Judiciary.
“The onus is now on the Judiciary to stand up for justice as the last hope of the people to defend this democracy, because what INEC has done, has painfully created a loophole for desperate and wicked politicians to explore to the detriment of our democracy and elections.
“If we allow this electoral travesty to stand, it will consume all of us and our democracy will fall. The bigger picture of what is happening in Ondo State will undermine civil rule and we don’t want this to happen.
“We are sincerely urging the Judiciary to redeem the situation in Ondo State and ensure that justice is done to the people on the rightful candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“INEC has acted wickedly by replacing a validly nominated candidate of the PDP, whose primary election it observed and approved, with a busybody who plotted a kangaroo election in Ibadan under darkness and who is still a member of the Accord Party (AP).”
CDNDC however urged President Muhammadu Buhari to caution INEC against sabotaging the electoral process, noting that the security implications of what the commission is doing is “a big burden on the nation and a major challenge to the President.
“Mr. President also has a sacred duty to prevent INEC from sabotaging our hard earned and hard sustained democracy. We must never allow democracy to die,” the coalition said.