By Oladipupo Awojobi
The Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, has condemned the call by a member of the House of Representatives to make President Muhammadu Buhari life president, and efforts by certain leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to “the use of force and undemocratic means to unseat the leadership of the National Assembly, notably the Senate.”
The organisation said in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Comrade Ibuchukwu Ohabuenyi Ezike, that “We are seriously alarmed by these unpleasant developments and, therefore, wish to call on Nigerians to be on the alert, and to resist any attempt to cause Nigeria’s slide to despotic authoritarianism and possible life presidency, which the forceful takeover of the leadership of either chambers of the National Assembly or all portends.”
CLO made reference to the Senator -elect of Bauchi South Senatorial District, Lawal-Yahaya Gumau, currently a member of the House of Representatives, who it said “unfolded the plot of the ruling APC to self perpetuate President Muhammadu Buhari in office after the constitutional two tenures.”
“CLO notes that this dubious plot is capable of creating political tension in the country and cautions politicians against drawing Nigeria into avoidable political imbroglio.
“CLO is well aware of the impunity resulting in losses of lives and property that self perpetuation in office or dictatorship has caused in Africa. It can’t be tolerated in Africa’s largest Democracy that should be a shinning example to the world.
“We, therefore, use this medium to call the attention of Nigerians and the international community to the statement credited to Lawal-Yahaya Gumau, that the Senate under the APC would push for a life presidency for President Muhammadu Buhari,” the statement read.
The organisation stressed in the statement that such agenda as expressed by Gumau, “be it his personal legislative agenda or the collective agenda of the APC, should be condemned by all lovers of democracy, justice and peace.”
The organisation insisted that those, “who are making these calls are obviously aware that their demand is mischievous and inconsistent with Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution.
The CLO also berated the ruling parry for its desperate moves to remove Senate President Saraki from office following his defection to PDP.
“CLO recalls that this is not the first or second time Nigeria would witness such development which the ruling party also benefitted from. The case of Honourable Edwin Umezuoke in the Second Republic and His Excellency, the Governor of Sokoto state, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, in 2014, are glaring examples.”
CLO said the “persistent misuse of the police, DSS, EFCC and other security agencies to hunt the leaders of the Senate and their family members is a distraction of governance and gross infraction on their human rights.
“They are strong arm tactics that should not be associated with, or tolerated in a democracy, especially on the fringes of a general election.”