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Opposition parties deplore Buhari’s silence on electoral reforms, credible polls

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• ‘There’s Need To Compensate Abiola’s Family’
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s Democracy Day address, yesterday, as a huge and unpardonable slap on the face of the country’s democratic process because of its silence on electoral reforms and credible polls.

The party stressed that the President’s silence on the values of democracy, “as well as the myriads of violations under his watch has further vindicated our stance and that of majority of Nigerians that the administration has no regard for democracy and is not prepared to uphold its tenets in our country.”

For the National Conscience Party (NCP), Action Democratic Party (ADP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC), the policies of the current government and happenings in the country are complete opposite to what the June 12 mandate stands for.

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Reacting to Buhari’s speech yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of ADP, Prince Adelaja Adeoye said it was incumbent on the government to end insurgency, sign the amended Electoral Act and address the issue of unemployment and poverty in the country.

On another hand, at an occasion to mark the June 12 anniversary in Oregun, Lagos, Igbo in Lagos APC emphasised the need to compensate the Abiola family for all their losses, especially in business, as a result of the struggle.

In a message, the Special Assistant to the Lagos State governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Mr. Joe Igbokwe appealed to the Federal Government to compensate Chief MKO Abiola’s family as well as reconcile them.

The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that on the day Mr. President himself set aside to celebrate democracy, he had no democratic scorecard to present, thereby directly confirming that he had taken no step to uphold democratic practice in the last five years.

“Our party invites Nigerians to note that Mr. President’s speech had no space for Chief MKO Abiola. This only goes to show that the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have no regard for Abiola and the essence of June 12, but only used their nomenclature to gain selfish political capital.”

According to the statement: “It is scandalous that on a day like this, Buhari had no assurances on electoral reforms and credible election, which is the hallmark of democracy.”

It further noted that Buhari’s failure to express any commitments to electoral reform in his 38-minute address shows that his administration has no plans to guarantee credible elections in the country, drawing attention to the fact that “Mr. President had no words of assurance towards respect for our constitution, particularly the principles of separation of powers, federal character, equality, equity, fairness, transparency and respect for the sensibilities of our federal structure.

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