CD: Why We Protested against Jonathan in London

07 Jun 2013

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President Goodluck Jonathan

Ademola Adeyemo

A civil society organisation, Coalition of Democracy (CD) Thursday said it decided to stage a  protest in London against what it described as the “dictatorial tendency of President Goodluck Jonathan  in order to draw the world’s attention to the resurgence of dictatorial tactics in Nigeria.”

The group in a release made available to THISDAY and signed by its International Coordinator, Daniel Timi Kurobo, said if Nigeria burns, the conflagration would  have severe consequences internationally and as such, has to be stopped,
He added that democracy in Nigeria was close to the precipice, suggesting the possibility of another military coup .
“It is our expectation that all genuine friends of Nigeria should immediately send fact-finding missions to Nigeria to independently ascertain the state of democracy. Our worries arise from the dangerous use of federal might by the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration to undermine all democratic structures in Rivers State amidst plans to expand this political subterfuge to other states in the federation as the 2015 general elections. The next is Niger State and followed by Lagos and Jigawa States. The existing state of emergency in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States is also part of the scheme.

“As you may recall, Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, on May 6 at an international press conference while reacting to the series of events in South-south Nigeria’s Rivers State, had warned that the situation had reached an unsustainable level as tension reigned in Port Harcourt.

“In the statement, entitled: ‘Cool it, President Goodluck Jonathan,’ the Nobel laureate had urged the president to break the culture of federal executive impunity in Rivers State.”
According to the group, in spite of Soyinka’s warning,  the federal government of Nigeria still maintained  abuse of office and continued to keep under lock and key all the democratic structures in Rivers State since April 22.

“We are raising this alarm based on the cosmopolitan nature of Port-Harcourt, given the high number of foreigners particularly from the West who are either doing legitimate business there or residing.
“A dangerous dimension to the crisis in Nigeria includes political intimidation and the successful coercion of the judiciary to submission. Now, the administration now writes legal decisions for judges. The undisguised aim is to antagonise the sitting governor of the state and create an atmosphere of confusion. In tow, the Nigeria police command in the state has acted in an obvious partisan routine that leaves no other assumption than that it is out to protect the anti-Amaechi forces.”

It said the assaults were likely to mortally injure Nigeria’s quest for a viable democratic culture.
“If the crime of the governor is that he is opposed to the president on a number of national issues, then there is the need to review our understanding of democracy. The freedom to canvass opposing views is integral to any healthy democratic culture. Even the fact of belonging to the same party does not deprive individual partisan leaders of the right to disagree on policies and issues.

“In the best of democratic traditions, most large political parties contain various strands and tendencies. These instigated crisis by the federal authorities together Boko Haram insurgencies in Northern Nigeria, raises the possibility of close to 30 million Nigerians seeking asylum in Western nations, particularly in Britain”

Tags: Politics, Nigeria, Featured, CD, Jonathan, LONDON

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