Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential hopeful representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has sounded a clarion call for opposition political parties to forge a united front through a strategic merger, countering the increasing dominance of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement released by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, on Tuesday, Atiku expressed deep concern about the potential erosion of Nigeria’s political landscape into a de facto one-party state.
In a meeting with the National Executive Committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council Nigeria, Atiku underscored the collective responsibility shared in safeguarding the democratic ethos in Nigeria. He stressed the point that the preservation of democratic values should not hinge solely on the efforts of one individual.
Addressing the gathering, Atiku articulated, “Your presence here today signifies a call for cooperation to fortify democracy. However, the stark reality is that our democratic fabric is rapidly threading towards a one-party paradigm, and as you well know, once we embrace such a system, democracy becomes a distant dream.”
Atiku implored the leadership of IPAC, led by its National President, Yabagi Sani, to champion the collaboration of opposition parties. The objective is to construct a resilient and unified front capable of forestalling the descent of Nigeria’s democracy into a one-party straitjacket.
Expressing his disapproval of the current state of democracy, Atiku censured the All Progressives Congress (APC) for allegedly steering Nigeria towards a one-party autocracy. He emphasized the urgent need to counter the ruling party’s agenda to safeguard the essence of democracy for future generations.
Atiku also voiced his discontent with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), accusing it of conducting substandard general elections. He highlighted instances of electoral malfeasance and called on opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly to sponsor legislation aimed at advancing constitutional and electoral reforms. Atiku emphasized that electronic voting should be the paramount concern for the National Assembly.
Yabagi Sani, speaking on behalf of the Inter-Party Advisory Council members, acknowledged the deficiencies in the electoral process but maintained that despite these imperfections, democracy remains the most favored and resilient form of government.