Posted by News Express | 6 August 2013 | 4,761 times
The July 24 deportation of 72 non-indigenes by the Lagos State Government and the negative publicity that has trailed the action will cost the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) dearly in coming elections, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has predicted.
Intersociety Board Chairman, Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi, made the prediction yesterday while reacting to the claims of APC that Anambra State Governor Peter Obi and NGOs that have made an issue out of the Lagos State Government’s action did so for political reasons. Similar claims have been made by the Lagos State Government and the Anambra State chapter of APC.
“Didn’t they know that the action is capable of marring the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections?” Umeagbalasi asked while speaking with News Express yesterday. “If they knew, why did they engage in such atrocious act? The question is, is it constitutional?”
According to Umeagbalsi, “The deportation will mar APC’s chances, if any, not only in the November governorship election in Anambra State but also during the nationwide general elections in 2015 because what it means is that that is the policy they will implement if they take over ower.”
Intersociety reaffirmed this position in a statement released later yesterday through its Head, Publicity Desk, Justus Uche Ijeoma. In it, the rights group which has been in the forefront of criticising the action of the Babtunde Fashola administration declared that APC and Lagos State Government’s reaction “over our very informed position on the deportation of 72 Nigerian citizens to Onitsha, Anambra State, is simply weak and does not stand to reason.”
According to the statement: “Governor Fashola had said that this a political season and that people are trying to make political capital out of the situation. However, the salient question that should be asked Gov. Fashola is whether he did not know that this a political season that requires caution before he embarked on such thoughtless, wicked, unconstitutional and self-defeating policy? Such a policy has revealed in advance what the APC holds for the country.
“We want to use this opportunity to call on Nigerians be watchful as the LASG may now resort to dumping their so called ‘destitute’ in rivers, since they have shown no remorse in this their callous action. After all, we are condemning such attitude because the deportees were alive to tell their story. If they had been dumped in one of the numerous rivers between Lagos and Onitsha, no one would probably have known their whereabouts. The case of Ezu River is still fresh in our minds. It is high time political authorities in Nigeria learnt to respect the fundamental rights of citizens guaranteed in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
•Photo shows APC interim national chairman, Bisi Akande.
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