The Presidency has rejected the allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its former presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, that President Bola Tinubu was muzzling the opposition and foisting a one-party state on Nigeria.
It accused PDP and Atiku of raising a false alarm and embarking on a campaign of calumny, following their defeat at the last general election.
According to the Presidency, these allegations are deliberately aimed at unnecessarily heating up the polity and causing public disenchantment, adding that they exist only in the imagination of the PDP and the former vice-president.
It emphasised that “President Tinubu is also not planning to impose a one-party state as Atiku has serially alleged and his party and spokesman have now parroted.”
Atiku, in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, accused the president of assaulting the ballot box and the judicial process by influencing judges handling post-2023 poll litigations.
Atiku alleged that President Tinubu cannot tolerate opposition, stressing that he adopted the same style when he was governor of Lagos State.
He also said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) harbours an inglorious ideology of ‘snatch, grab and run away with power,’ adding that it has also turned the judiciary into a ‘cash and carry’ arm of government.
But, objecting to the allegations, which it described as malicious, the Presidency said Atiku and PDP were visiting their frustrations on President Tinubu and the ruling party, following their defeat at the poll.
A statement by the Special Adviser to President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, titled: ‘PDP, Atiku raising false alarm,’ said: “In separate statements, the Peoples Democratic Party and the spokesman of Atiku Abubakar, its defeated Presidential candidate, threw caution to the winds as they assaulted the integrity of the judiciary and made wild and libellous allegations against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“In the wake of the poor run of some elected governors of the party at the appeal court, the PDP and former Vice President and his spokesman have become overtly desperate to hang their woes on President Tinubu and the judiciary, an important arm of government in Nigeria.
“In blaming others, Atiku and his party have failed to demonstrate whether they had done any soul-searching before going public with their weighty, specious, reckless and irresponsible allegations.
“While we do not hold brief for the judiciary, we urge Nigerians to discountenance the malicious allegations by the PDP and its candidate that President Tinubu as governor of Lagos, silenced the opposition and corrupted the judiciary and that he is planning to foist a one-party state on the country by appointing “loyalists” as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
“President Tinubu is a democrat to the core. We make bold to say that as president, he has not interfered with the judgment of the judiciary. We had witnessed how under his watch the PDP governor in Osun defeated the APC at the Supreme Court.