Say President Will Be Removed Over “Stolen Mandate”
Nigerians in the United States of America protested against the swearing in of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term of four years, saying the President stole people’s mandate and will make history as the first siting Commander-in-Chief to be so removed.
The group, Democracy Vanguard Of Nigerians In Diaspora (DVND), on the day of inauguration, has led the protest to the Nigerian Embassy in Washington D.C and to the entrance of the White House with banners emblazoned with various inscriptions as tourists thronged the venue.
“The mandate that he’s being sworn in for today is not his,” the DVND President, Tim Sule, told journalists with a speech in hand and the Nigerian and U.S flag brooches on his suit.
Another group, Champions of Democracy (USA), led by its Presidend, Frankline Ekechukwu, also joined in the protest.
“Everyone knows that the Nigerian election 2019 was flawed. And for democracy to actually grow and be sustained in Nigeria, we need to protest against the injustice,” Ekechukwu said.
President Buhari was declared the winner of the February 23, 2019 election after a postponement, having won 56 per cent of the ballots cast with 15.2 million of the 29 million registered voters in his favour.
The election witnessed a 35 per cent voters turnout, lower than the 44 per cent the last elections had and a peak of 69 per cent in 2003, a development many see as an indicator of voter apathy in Africa’s biggest democracy.
The DVND Public Relations Director, however, said during the protest that their activity will culminate in the country witnessing “the first time in the history of Nigeria that a President that has been sworn in will be removed by the tribunal.”
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Buhari’s main rival in the election has immediately challenged the outcome of the election and asked the courts to overturn the result.
He also said the figures his agents and supporters got from the electoral commission’s computer server showed he won and has vowed to enlist the services of international IT firms, IBM and Google to verify the claims.
The legal tussle may get to the apex court as president Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) have declared Atiku’s claims as false, saying also that the contender is not a bona fide Nigerian citizen and not qualified for the election in the first place.
“I believe the Nigerian Judiciary will do the right thing by giving the mandate back to the person that was actually elected by the people. That is what democracy means,” said DVND Women Leader, Martha Eleta-Iluonokhalumhe.