ABUJA, NIGERIA – Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has called on the Judiciary to allow a live broadcast of the proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Court, (PEPC), to give Nigerians opportunity to follow the case and know what is happening.
Onaiyekan, who made the call on Sunday while speaking to newsmen at the World Communications Day celebration, with the theme: ‘Speaking the Truth with Love from Your Heart’, at St. Gabriel Chapel in Abuja, said, Nigerians wants to see what is happening with the cases before the Tribunal, for them to know what to expect.
He advised journalists to listen to every sides and relay to the public what is happening, because Nigerians want to see the happenings, hence it is important that the petitions before the tribunal be made available to Nigerians.
“For me, this is very important. One thing that I think Nigerians do not seem to realize is that when elections are rigged, it is not the contestants or the politicians who are the most hit, those who have been most impacted and hit are me or you, we who went and voted. But as it stands, we do not even have locus standi in court.
“We are the ones who should be complaining there now, that my vote has been bastardized, destroyed. They tell me I cannot go to court because I did not contest the election. If we cannot go and make our case, at least we should be able to see what is happening inside there.
“We believe that our honourable Judges will do their best to make judgments that are correct and true. If they do what is right, everybody will see it. And then it will help to calm nerves when we know that the right thing has been done.
“But if they do all these, somehow in some kind of secret Ogboni meeting, even if they did the right thing and they come out and tell us, we will still say who knows what they said,” noting that “so it is in the interest of the judiciary to allow the live broadcast to be done.
“All these issues that there are witnesses whose witness shall not be made public. For goodness sake, what are they hiding? If you have anything that people do not know and should not know, then you should not do it.
“So I think and I am praying that the honourable Justices will find a way, even though they have not been doing it before, they should be ready to do it now.
“We will reach a stage in Nigeria where we must start doing things that we have not been doing before, because if I have been doing things the way we have been doing it before, then it means we want things to continue the way it has been happening. And we say it has not been helping us. So we must be prepared boldly to take new steps and accept new things,” Onaiyekan admonished.
Cardinal Onaiyekan further said that all eyes were on the court, as Nigerians did their best to vote, and they were told to go to Court. “We are now in court. All eyes are on the court. And we believe that is why we will have trust in the court that they will finish the job that INEC did halfway. The fact remains that communication is meant to build not to destroy, to unite, not to divide, to entertain, not to make people sad and this is what we are praying for today,” he added.