The Labour Party has expressed dismay at the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led protests against the final report of the EU Observer Mission to the 2023 General Election.
The acting national publicity secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, described the protests as “embarrassing and uncalled for,” saying they were the result of hirings.
He made this claim in a statement released late on Friday in Abuja.
According to the LP, the protest that “hirelings” organized at the European Union Mission’s Abuja facilities caught their attention.
He asserts that the LP “takes such protestation as a great national humiliation as it demonstrates how opposed the party is to truth and measures that will deepen and improve Nigeria’s democracy.
“The demonstrators demanded that the EU retract its final report on Nigeria’s 2023 general elections, which were held on February 25 and March 18, since they said it had the potential to ignite the nation.
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The Labour Party finds it illogical, awkward, and very hard to understand that if, following the electoral brigandage of the APC in collusion with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on February 25, Nigeria did not catch fire due to the non-violent nature of our standard bearer, Peter Obi, it is now the APC’s belief that the stark reality coming from an unbiased independent body like the EU will set Nigeria on fire.
“What the Labour Party expected the APC to do is lavishly thank the European Union for their ongoing exemplary contributions to the development of democracy in our country through needs assessment missions and the ensuing financial, technical, and logistical support, as the 94-page report further emphasizes.
Even in their precarious position, the APC government should have taken a cue from the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who agreed to make amends by promising to reform the electoral system in 2007 after winning the presidential election that international observers found to be insufficiently credible.
He stated, “The electoral system reform initiated by Yar’Adua and carried out by his successor, President Goodluck Jonathan, after his death enabled the opposition APC to defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2015.
The APC should not be protesting against the same EU that has never failed to release its observation reports following any election since 1999 and shouldn’t have turned a blind eye to the worst and most egregiously conducted elections in Nigerian history. This is the height of ingratitude and a lack of historical awareness.
“The Labour Party expects the ruling party to refute the findings point by point if they can, but if they are unable to do so, they should acknowledge that they are in control of a stolen mandate, a truth that is well known to all.
It is easy to understand why the ruling party would find such a revelation to be so upsetting, even to the point of paying demonstrators, because no crook enjoys seeing or hearing about someone bringing in evidence that will expose him.
“What Nigeria, and indeed supporters of democracy worldwide, should do is express gratitude to the EU for its steadfast efforts to advance democratic values in our nation and for being unfazed in the face of the anti-democratic stance of our politicians and leaders.
“APC should fully understand that trying to represent Nigeria at various African and international fora where representatives of smaller countries that were able to conduct credible elections with widely accepted results are present will always remain an albatross for our country,” said one observer.
Even though the APC may be critical of the EU, its report is completely public and cannot be withheld or censored.