A protest led by hundreds of women and youths from the Muslim community in Plateau State has taken place in response to the Appeal Court judgments that removed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators and members of the House of Representatives from the state.
The youth demonstrators unanimously criticized the judgments as acts of “injustice” and viewed them as an attempt to undermine the mandate given to the PDP by the people of the state.
Abdulkarim Yaro, the Secretary of the Hausa/Fulani PDP Forum, called upon the National Judicial Council (NJC) to review the judgments. He stated, “We are expressing our displeasure with the recent Appeal Court judgments because we believe our mandate has been stolen. In other states, similar issues have been treated as pre-election matters, so why is Plateau being treated differently?”
The Muslim community aligns its voice with other groups in Plateau who have spoken out against what they perceive as injustice. Although the police prevented the planned protest, the community intends to draw national attention to their case and the need for fair treatment.
Lubabatu Ali, the Women Leader of the group, appealed to stakeholders in the judiciary and the Nigerian public to stand against the perceived injustice. She emphasized that the PDP government in Plateau was elected with a significant margin, and the resources and efforts invested in the party’s victory should not be disregarded.
One of the protesters, Iliya Musa, expressed dismay at the nullification of a candidate’s mandate despite receiving over 95,000 votes, while another candidate with approximately 35,000 votes was declared the winner. Musa labeled it a miscarriage of justice and criticized the Court of Appeal for undermining democracy through technicalities.
The protesters called for the NJC to review the judgments and restore the mandates to the rightful winners, those who were chosen by the masses. They urged the judiciary to address the declining public perception of its image.
Despite the strong sentiments expressed, the protest remained peaceful, with security personnel present to maintain order and prevent any disruption of peace.