Posted by News Express | 26 December 2019 | 1,421 times
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, had accused Falana of spreading fake news over his claim that there are plans for the president to get another term.
But in a statement on Wednesday, Falana said the third term agenda for Buhari kicked off in September.
He said despite denying the agenda, the presidency is doing nothing to curb those campaigning for another term for President Muhammadu Buhari.
The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) accused the presidency of intensifying its campaign to suppress the opposition and subvert of the rule of law.
“The third term agenda for President Muhammadu Buhari kicked off on September 21, 2019 under the auspices of “Movement For the Approval Of Buhari Third Term,” Falana said.
“The members of the group who launched the campaign in Abuja were not harassed by the Police or the State Security Service. The Presidency did not deem it fit to disown or dissociate itself from the campaign.
“However, following the popular rejection of the campaign, the Presidency issued a statement on October 2, 2019 to “correct internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary regarding presidential term limits, given credence by so-called support groups, staging street demonstrations asking President Muhammadu Buhari to do a third term.
“Notwithstanding the official denial of the third term agenda, the Buhari regime has since intensified its campaign for the emasculation of the opposition and constriction of the democratic space.
“This has been manifested in the subversion of the rule of law through disobedience of court orders, sponsoring of anti media bills and reckless arrest, detention and prosecution of the perceived enemies of the federal government. Peaceful meetings and rallies against unpopular policies of the government are violently suppressed while crowds are rented to attack groups and citizens who challenge authoritarian rule in the land.
“The Presidency has decided to attack me for challenging the support groups and APC leaders that are behind the third term campaign. Even though the campaigners are well known to the security agencies they have not being attacked by the Presidency.”
Recalling how he challenged the regimes of Ibrahim Babaginda and Sani Abacha, former military heads of state, Falana said he would keep fighting for human rights.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have faulted presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, over his claim that the current administration has not detained any journalist nor seized copies of newspapers since it assumed office.
Mr Shehu made this claim via a statement shared on his official Facebook page on Wednesday’s reaction to the release of Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters.
According to him, “some international news outlets have mistakenly been describing Mr Sowore’s release as that of a journalist which is wrong.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Buhari administration has never, since coming into office in 2015, detained a journalist, seized copies of newspapers or shut down a medium of information.”
“Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria. He did so on television, and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely read digital newspaper run from the United States of America.”
“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow. No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing.”
“The government believes strictly in observing the rule of law but must safeguard public security and will not allow trouble makers to incite the public and cause a breakdown of law and order.”
Eniola Akinkoutu, a journalist, said: “No journalist detained under Buhari? What of Samuel Ogundipe of Premium Times who was detained for 4 days? What of Jones Abiri? The raiding of Daily Trust? Just asking for clarification sir.”
Another commentator, Abimboye Micheal, said: “Lies. You lied sir and it’s a shame. Buhari’s govt detained journalists, raided Daily Trust. Don’t lie.”
“Must you write and talk? Don’t defend this lawlessness pls…,” Ishaq Ahmed said
Pajo Pajolisson: “I always read your posts to the end trying very hard to make sense out of the nonsense you write. Of course disappointment is often the end. You called him a former Presidential aspirant, condemning him as a journalist as against the claims of ‘international news outlets’. But you went ahead telling us he’s an owner of widely read digital news platform in the U.S.
Anyways, I would that it’s not the U.S senators’ letter that prompted his release if you tell Nigerians the exact reason. Was there a new court order that we don’t know? And why did you exempt Sambo Dasuki here?”
Fabiyi Olabanji wrote: “You guys succeeded in making Sowore an international figure whose case has become a major discourse in virtually all international media. Respect for rule of law is a major democratic ingredient which I believe this government enjoyed before coming to power. Power is transient and we should learn from history. Wondering how posterity will judge you @garbashehu and @femiadesina. Let’s do what us right at all time.”
Ofonife Sam said: “Shame on you, Buhari and this government for turning Nigeria into a banana republic and shamelessly presenting yourselves as the executive, judicial and legislative arm of government whereas these arms of government are independent. APC should know that Nigeria is bigger than them and the world is watching how they (APC ) desecrate on our democracy.”
Kaybee Buno said: “This guys are shameless. The more they try to cover their mistakes, the more mistakes they make.” (The Sun)
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