The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed strong disapproval of President Bola Tinubu’s actions involving the removal of billboards from key locations within the Federal Capital Territory.
This move has ignited a debate around freedom of speech and the role of the judiciary in the ongoing presidential election petition process.
Federal Government’s Decision on Billboards Draws Attention
The federal government’s decision to dismantle billboards that highlighted the importance of the judiciary in the context of the awaited verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Court has garnered attention and criticism.
The billboards, bearing the slogan ‘All Eyes on the Judiciary,’ were deemed by the government to potentially influence the outcome of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
Dissolution of the Advertising Standard Panel
The Secretariat of the Advertising Standard Panel, which previously endorsed the billboards, faced consequences as the government disbanded it.
The move was attributed to the panel’s failure to adhere to vetting guidelines and procedures, leading to the approval of an advert that did not comply with these standards.
The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria conveyed the panel’s dissolution.
Atiku’s Response: A Condemnation of Authoritarianism
Atiku Abubakar’s Special Assistant on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu, vehemently criticized the removal of the billboards, interpreting it as an act of authoritarianism and an assault on freedom of speech.
He emphasized that the message on the billboards was aligned with established norms in civilized societies.
He argued that the essence of justice is for it to be seen and acknowledged, a principle embodied by the slogan ‘All Eyes on the Judiciary.’
Tinubu’s Actions and Authoritarianism
Phrank Shaibu accused President Bola Tinubu of displaying dictatorial tendencies through his involvement in the removal of the billboards.
He asserted that Tinubu’s actions indicated an abuse of office and raised concerns about the potential manipulation of the judicial process.
Shaibu questioned the reasons behind Tinubu and the APC’s unease with the message on the billboards, especially since they themselves are parties before the same court.
Implications for the Election Process
Atiku Abubakar contended that the removal of the billboards underscored the need for election-related court cases to be concluded before the inauguration of winners.
This, he argued, would prevent individuals benefiting from fraudulent elections from influencing the system in their favor.
In summary, the controversy surrounding the removal of billboards featuring the slogan ‘All Eyes on the Judiciary’ has sparked a debate about freedom of speech, the role of the judiciary, and potential manipulation of the election process.
Atiku Abubakar’s condemnation of President Bola Tinubu’s actions reflects concerns about authoritarianism and the integrity of the ongoing election petition proceedings.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn