Trump: Nigeria’s Democracy in Grave Danger

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  • Secondus alleges opposition clampdown, human rights abuses

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alerted the international community, particularly the President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump, alleging that Nigeria is on the brink due to the undemocratic policies and actions of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In an agenda setting move ahead of tomorrow’s crucial meeting between the Trump and Buhari, the PDP said the Nigerian leader should be made to explain actions of his administration, which it said had eroded constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens while foisting a siege mentality on the people.

Addressing a press conference Saturday in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said that Nigeria was on the brink as a result of undemocratic actions of the Buhari administration of the All Progressives Congress.

“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,” it said.

The US President is scheduled to meet his Nigerian counterpart tomorrow in what many see as very critical to addressing Nigeria’s economic and insecurity challenges.

But the PDP described the visit of Buhari to America, regarded as the home of democracy, as ironic, saying back home his administration had been accused of several violations of the Constitution and human rights of citizens.

The PDP urged Trump to stand up for democracy and take 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.

The party said the report on human rights violation in Nigeria also confirmed cases of harassments, persecution of opposition, arrests, detention and extra-judicial killings under Buhari’s administration.

It also cited the case of the ‘Bring Back our Girls’ organization that freely protested unmolested in 2014 and 2015 but are now being hounded and manhandled wherever they dare to come to out on a peaceful protest.

It said, “Indeed, the height of human rights abuse being witnessed in our country today is the worst in our national contemporary history.

“You will recall that the 2017/2018 Amnesty International (AI) Human Rights Report 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 South-east between September 2017 and January 2018 as well as torture and killings in custody. Many arrested protesters are still in detention without trial.

The PDP said democratic institutions, particularly the legislature, judiciary and even the media were being decapitated by dictatorial forces who were encouraged by the agents of the state at the center.

It recounted the incident of April 18, 2018, when it said a barefaced attempt was made to shut down the National Assembly following lawmakers’ insistence on following due process in governance.

The party highlighted political opponent it said were being molested to include Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and Senators Aliyu Wamakko, Rabiu Kwankwaso, David Mark, Dino Melaye, Albert Akpan, Godswill Akpabio and Danjuma Goje.

Others, it said, include Senator Peter Nwaboshi, Isah Misau and Shehu Sani as well as former governors Sule Lamido, Ibrahim Shema, Meanwhile, the party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus has said Buhari had gone to the US to shore up his already damaged image.

Secondus said in a statement by Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Ike Abonyi that it had become dangerous and risky to hold views that are at variance with ruling establishment.

“He has left his country in a Police state as he travelled to US on image laundry. Legislators are not safe, judges are living and working in fear, media are being harassed, security agencies have all become tools of oppression for government, dictator,” he said.