Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has sounded a clarion call for the amalgamation of opposition political parties to prevent the imminent slide into a one-party state in Nigeria. In a statement conveyed by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku expressed concerns about the growing dominance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the potential consequences for Nigeria’s democracy.
Addressing the National Executive Committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, Atiku emphasized that safeguarding democracy was a collective responsibility. “Our democracy is fast becoming a one-party system, and, of course, you know that when we have a one-party system, we should just forget about democracy,” he remarked.
Atiku urged the leadership of IPAC, led by National President Yabagi Sani, to facilitate the collaboration of opposition political parties, creating a robust front to rescue Nigeria’s democracy from the encroaching shadow of a one-party state. He voiced his concerns about the ruling APC’s actions, accusing it of transforming Nigeria into a “dictatorship of one party.”
Criticizing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Atiku claimed that recent off-season elections in three states demonstrated a disregard for democratic principles. He cited instances where INEC declared results in Kogi State with the total votes cast exceeding the number of accredited voters in a local government.
Atiku called on opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly to sponsor legislation that advances constitutional and electoral reforms, with a focus on the urgent implementation of electronic voting. He stressed the importance of embracing technological advancements in the electoral process.
In response, Yabagi Sani, speaking on behalf of IPAC members, acknowledged the flaws in the electoral system but affirmed their commitment to democracy as the best form of government. The call for opposition unity comes as a strategic move to counterbalance the growing influence of the ruling party and preserve the democratic fabric of Nigeria.