Bola Tinubu (left) and Datti Baba-Ahmed
Vice Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 General Election, Datti Baba-Ahmed has again insisted that swearing in President-elect Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, would spell the end of democracy for the country.
In March 2023, during an appearance on “Politics Today,” a programme by Channels Television, Datti had asked Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, not to swear in Bola Tinubu as president. He claimed there was no valid president-elect, as Tinubu did not purportedly meet the requirements of the constitution.
His remarks, which stirred significant controversy and led to calls from the APC presidential campaign council for punitive action against Channels Television, were branded as treasonous by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed.
However, speaking on Thursday, May 25, 2023, just days before the presidential inauguration, at a Labour Party event titled “Good Governance Summit for All 2023 Labour Party Elected Candidates” in Abuja, Datti remained resolute.
He said, “Never in the fourth republic’s history has any president-elect that could not even win 25% of the FCT,” Senator Baba-Ahmed was quoted as saying.
“The constitution comes interpreted, and it is to be followed at operational times such as ongoing presidential elections,” Datti stated, arguing that issuing a certificate of return to an individual who did not satisfy the constitutional requirements was an act of “outright criminality” and “unconstitutionality.”
The Labour Party’s vice-presidential candidate continued his criticism, arguing that a president should be sworn in based on the constitution’s provisions and that a violation of this would place a “question mark” on the presidency.
He suggested that the APC might resort to electoral manipulations to meet the constitutional requirements. Datti ended his speech with a call to action for Nigerians, stating, “Nigerians wake up, Nigeria is yours. You are your own international community.”
“We Nigerians are our own international community… Anything that we did not do, the world will sit and lament with us,” the former senator said.
With Tinubu and Shettima’s swearing-in about to take place, Datti’s statements have stirred the political waters in Nigeria, highlighting the country’s ongoing political tensions and raising questions about the future of its democracy.