Posted by Leon Usigbe and Jacob Segun Olatunji, Abuja | 30 April 2018 | 1,238 times
As President Muhammadu Buhari heads into a meeting with United States President Donald Trump in Washington on Monday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the US president to call him to order over alleged infringement on the rights of Nigerians by his All Progressive Congress (APC)-led administration.
Addressing a press conference at its national secretariat in Abuja, on Saturday, the spokesman of the opposition party, Kola Ologbondiyan, outlined some of the actions attributed to the government which he said infringed on the rights of Nigerians.
The party accused the administration of returning the country to the 1984 era, which according to it, saw the country under a draconian regime ruled by Decree 2.
PDP said: “As you are aware, President Muhammadu Buhari is on his way to the United States, the home of democracy, whereas back home in Nigeria his administration has completely wrecked our democratic order, eroded constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens while foisting a siege mentality on our people.
“We have called you here to alert the entire world, particularly, the United States that our nation is now on the brink.
“Nigeria is facing a perilous time; our constitution has been technically suspended; we have now become a Police State; governance has reverted to the nightmares of the 1984 era, when draconian leaders held sway and forcefully held our people under the grips of military Decree 2.
“Currently, there is a total collapse of respect for constitutionally guaranteed personal freedom; there is no regard for natural course of justice, life in Nigeria is gradually returning to the state of nature and there is fear everywhere.
“Today, Nigerians are being hounded, arrested and directly detained on ‘order from above’, without warrant; citizens are locked up in dehumanizing detention centres without access to medical care and legal assistance, just for holding political opinions that run contrary to the views of those in power at the center.
“There are preponderance instances of citizens’ detention in special police and military facilities for weeks, months and in some cases, many years without trial. Nigerians are daily falling victims of extreme torture, extra-judicial and arbitrary killings and mass burial by unrestrained agents of state security forces.”
The party further observed: “Nigerians are therefore miffed that in the face of these violations and turmoil at home, President Buhari is going to the United States, the home of democracy, to be received by Democrats whereas he is doing everything humanly possible including the breakdown of our laws to truncate our hard-earned democracy.
“We, therefore, urge President Donald Trump to stand up for democracy and take President Buhari to task on constitutional and human rights violations in Nigeria under his watch, as already detailed in the report by the US Department of State.
“We also urge all international organisations, particularly, the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to take note of the horrendous situation in our country and spare no energy in intervening to stem this ugly trend.
“Let the truth be told! Nigeria is bleeding under President Buhari and the world must come to the rescue. We also pray that President Buhari will not use the occasion of his visit to President Trump to further de-market our nation as he has always done whenever he is outside the country on official assignment.”
The party noted the 2017/2018 Amnesty International (AI) Human Rights Report which it said confirmed cases of extreme human right violations under the Buhari administration, ” including extra-judicial execution, forceful crackdown on peaceful protesters as particularly witnessed in the southeast between September 2017 and January 2018 as well as torture and killings in custody. Many arrested protesters are still in detention without trial.”
The party also noted the travail of the BringBackOurGirls movement, which it said freely protested unmolested in 2014 and 2015 but is today hounded and manhandled wherever and whenever they dare to come to out on a peaceful protest.
It also noted the escalating killings in various states of the federation “as the Presidency has abandoned governance for 2019 re-election bid.”
Similarly, the party pointed out that institutions such as the National Assembly, the judiciary, and the media are not free from the shenanigans of government, which it said had declared war on its perceived opponents.
PDP added: “In spite of our alarm, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Senators AliyuWamakko, Rabiu Kwankwaso, David Mark, Dino Melaye, Albert Akpan, Godswill Akpabio, Danjuma Goje, Peter Nwaoboshi, Isah Misau and Shehu Sani as well as former Governors Sule Lamido, Ibrahim Shema, Babangida Aliyu and others have all come under intense harassment, intimidation and outright breach of their fundamental rights over trumped-up charges.
“As you may be aware, former Katsina state governor, Ibrahim Shema is being tried on the same matter in three different courts of coordinate jurisdiction with the view to manipulating judicial process to nail him at all cost.
“Stunningly, a serving senator, Senator Melaye, who has been outspoken in highlighting the violations and excesses of the Buhari’s administration accountable, has now become the butt of this government’s human rights abuse for daring to demand transparency and due diligence in the conduct of government business.
“Senator Dino was disgracefully manhandled, whisked and chained like a common criminal; his home besieged for two nights while his family relations, friends, and even his counsel were randomly arrested and detained in several detention centers in Abuja, some of them without being arraigned before any court of law.
“Two of the lawyers representing Senator Melaye; Pius Udo-Inyang and David Amaefule of Messers Rickey Tarfa and co are still languishing in illegal detention for attempting to defend Senator Melaye.”
Text (excluding headline) sourced from Nigerian Tribune
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