PDP commends the president’s move, saying it will foster democracy

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for adopting the recommendation of the Sheik Ahmed Lemu panel on post-2011 election violence in the country, to set up a Special Tribunal for trying electoral offences.

The Party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, made the remarks on Thursday.

He said the president deserved a commendation from all well-meaning Nigerians and patriots who want to see that a civilised democracy is entrenched in the country, “a democracy that will be devoid of rancour, thuggery and violence”.

“The courage and foresight shown by the President and his Executive Council members by adopting the Lemu panel’s white paper and setting up of a special tribunal to curtail electoral violence could not have come at a better time, especially now that some politicians are beginning to see incitement to violence as a valid political campaign strategy,” he said.

Metuh emphasised that the tribunal would ensure that all those who take liberty to spread violence and cause mayhem in elections were brought to book, and it would also enhance speedy dispensation of justice in election disputes.

“The tribunal will also go a long way to inspire confidence in the people that the government is fully committed to upholding the tenets of democracy. The initiative leaves no room for doubt that the only option for settling election disputes lies in legal redress,” he said.

He reiterated that real democrats are those who go to court to seek redress rather than taking the laws into their own hands.

“PDP also commended President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for giving a directive to the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police to proscribe all youth groups that are set up specifically to be used as thugs during elections in Nigeria,” Metuh said.

“While PDP thanks the President on behalf of all Nigerians, we call on the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police to not only prosecute those who were apprehended during the past electoral mayhems, but also fish out their sponsors.”

He, however, advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to   disqualify any politician who makes inflammatory and inciting statements.

This, he said, would force politicians to watch their utterances and conduct themselves in a manner that would engender peace and unity in the country.

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