The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) might not be favourably disposed to going ahead with the March 28th presidential election after all.
A report by Punch says the leadership of the ruling party has already mapped out strategies aimed at ensuring that the election do not hold at the re-scheduled date.
The report claimed that the PDP was actually behind the new Young Democratic Party (YDP), a party that came into the consciousness of Nigerians after it won a court case compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to re-print the ballot papers for the election so as to accommodate them on Wednesday.
The YDP had in a press conference on Thursday asked INEC to postpone the forthcoming general election if it could not accommodate it on its ballot paper. The Federal High Court in Abuja had also ordered the electoral umpire to register YDP as a political party.
Speaking on behalf of the party, the National Publicity Secretary of YDP, Mr. Ugo Nwofor, said, “If INEC does not have the appropriation for logistics for reprinting of its ballot papers then INEC ought to within the constitutional provision further re-schedule the general election so as to accommodate our party.
“In either of the two options, our party is ready, it has been a long journey for YDP; we wish INEC would explore the first option.”
Moments after the press briefing, one of the leaders of the YDP was sighted at the national headquarters of the PDP in Abuja, where he said he had come to confer with some of its officers.
In a confidential discussion with Punch, he was at the Wadata House to brief PDP chieftains on the success of their legal work.
The next day, he told the publication on the telephone that they were planning a fresh legal option to compel INEC to comply with the court order.
According to him, “Recall that I was at the national headquarters of the ruling party in Abuja on Thursday where I met our partners. We are working together to move the nation forward and deepen our renascent democracy.
“We have already fixed the dates for our convention and we would pick our presidential and other candidates for the elections. We expect INEC to give us a chance as stated in the court order.”
However, it was learnt that one of the strategies of the PDP is to head for the court and ask that the presidential election be set aside, by pleading that YDP was excluded.
Efforts made to speak with the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Olisa Metuh on the issue failed. He neither picked nor responded to a text message sent to him.
Meanwhile, the umbrella body of the Igbo nation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo (Lagos State chapter), has denied the news reports that surfaced in the media recently, that they endorsed the presidential aspiration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).
Popular Nigerian DJ, Switch, has opened up on what happened in Lekki on Tuesday night.
Known as Obianuju Catherine Udeh, Switch said she counted 15 dead bodies during the shoot-out.
In a video she posted on her Instagram page, Switch asked the authorities not to insult the intelligence of Nigerians when giving their own account of what happened on that day.
According to her, the military aimed at endsars protesters as they fired gunshots. She also said that SARS officers came in after the military had left and also attacked them.
According to Switch she and others present counted over 15 bodies.
‘‘I just want to clear a few things that I have been seeing online. To our leaders, I urge you please do not minimize the suffering of families. Do not insult the grief of Nigerians, do not insult the intelligence of Nigerians. Do not insult the pains the families are facing.
People were falling left and right. Yes there were soldiers there. Another part that people are not talking about is that the police also came. The SARS people we are talking about, they also came, some maybe 40-45 minutes after the soldiers left.
We were teargassed. The teargass was like Cotonou pepper mixed with acid. We were running. We would run and we would come back and the only thing we fought with was our flags. We would sit on the floor and we would raise or hands up, raising our flags and singing the national anthem. That was all we had.
They put off the lights. Even if there was no power in that axis, there was always light at the tollgate. There was no lights. The street lights were off. It was pitch black.” she said
Speaking further, she said
”A boy jumped on me and was shouting cover her, cover her. I didn’t even understand why he did that. They shot that boy on my back. I fell and while the soldiers were picking their shells, we were running around and picking their shells too because we wanted proof.”
She showed photos of bullet shells picked from the ground. She showed the one that was fired close to her ears and the one that was removed from someone’s lap.
The military, they were there on Nigerian soil, killing Nigerian citizens. The police and their SARS like people came doing the same thing, aiming and shooting. They were pointing the gun at us and shooting live bullets. Who takes live bullets to a protest?
To our leaders, I urge you to please not insult the intelligence of Nigerians and the families.”
DJ Switch expressed regrets that she and others allowed the military to take the bodies of the deceased persons.
”Something I think of in hindsight I wish we hadn’t done it but we carried dead bodies and dropped at the feet of the soldiers so that they could see what they did to us. When I asked their unit commander why are you killing us? I wish we didn’t do that because they ended up throwing the bodies in their van. This was up until the next morning.” she said
She dissociated herself from the social media accounts claiming she said 78 persons died. She said she and others counted 15 dead bodies.
”I never said 78 people died. What I do know is that when I was doing the live, 7 people had died. When my phone died, we had counted about 15 people. I don’t know if it was more than that. We had a lot of people stray bullet wound, gunshot wounds, and all that.
People did die. It wasn’t photoshopped. I must be a tech genius to photoshop a live feed.” she said
She dismissed reports that her cousin died in the incident.
Thanking everyone for their prayers and support, DJ Switch said
”We must continue to move. We must continue. If we stop I fear it will probably be the next 60 years before we talk about this again. We must continue peacefully. I condemn any sort of violence. I condemn the burning of buses and peoples livelihood. ”
Popular music entertainer, Burna Boy has stated that if the recent end SARS protest by Nigerian youths doesn’t yield any positive result, then the future holds nothing for the teeming youths in the country.
The ‘On the low’ crooner stated this in an interview with foreign media, Sky News.
The interview comes two weeks after protests began, sparked by a video showing a man being beaten, apparently by police officers from SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad).
Burna Boy, who spoke to Sky News from London, said: “It is shocking when you see it happen in that place, in such a place, that was the landmark of everything.
“The Lekki Toll Gate, that was the most peaceful place to protest, the most peaceful venue in the whole country and then that is the place where [the shootings] happen. It is not something that you can just wrap your head around.”
The best-selling Afrobeats artist, who has mixed rap, funk and dancehall influences on international hits like On The Low and Ye, said nationwide protests against SARS have changed the nature of politics in his homeland.
“This is the most important moment in Nigeria’s history… that is what we are witnessing right now because if nothing changes after this, if this doesn’t work, then it is over.”
When asked what he meant by this, he replied: “Look at what is going on right now: the youth have come together, like something unexplainable (sic), something that no one man could have possibly organised or led, the youth of the largest black nation in the world came together, said enough is enough and this was triggered by police brutality.
“It’s not like it was triggered by all the other things that it should have been triggered by all these years.”