A peaceful protest unfolded in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State, where residents from all 13 local government areas expressed their discontent with the recent Court of Appeal ruling in Abuja. This judgment declared Governor Abdullahi Sule as the victor of the 2023 governorship election, overturning the Election Petitions Tribunal decision that initially declared David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party the winner on October 2, 2023. Governor Sule appealed the tribunal’s decision, seeking to overturn it and validate his election, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission. Clad in black attire and carrying leaves, women and youths participated in the three-hour protest, marching from the Welcome to Lafia City Gate to the Stadium Junction. They displayed placards with messages such as “The Law Should Protect Us On Merit not Technicalities,” “Nasarawa Mourns For The Soul Of Democracy,” and “President Tinubu, Please Save Our Democracy,” among others.

Video By: Abdulazeez Tijani

Following the protest, Kefas Tigga, the Convener of the Coalition of Indigenous People of Nasarawa State, accused the appeal court of imposing Governor Sule on the populace. Tigga highlighted the dangerous precedent set by the court, undermining the fundamental principle of majority rule. He emphasized the need to protect the rights of indigenous people as expressed through their votes, calling attention to the historical challenges faced by Nasarawa State, including external control and persecution based on religious beliefs or ethnic affiliations. Tigga asserted that David Ombugadu rightfully won the governorship election on March 18, 2023, and criticized the wrongful declaration of Governor Sule as a deviation from the democratic process. Urging international intervention from organizations such as the United Nations, African Union, ECOWAS, European Union, and the United States, Tigga emphasized the importance of safeguarding democracy against external influences. He appealed to the Supreme Court, as the final arbiter of justice, to uphold democratic principles and rectify the injustice, ensuring the true will of the people of Nasarawa State prevails over technicalities.

Tigga implored the Supreme Court to stand firmly by the laws and protect the rights of indigenous people, making it a pivotal moment for the court to demonstrate its commitment to democracy.


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