Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic (PDP) has petitioned British Prime Minister, Theresa May, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, over alleged growing culture of impunity, disrespect for judiciary and other anti-democratic tendencies by the President Muhammadu Buhari government ahead of 2019 general election.
The opposition party said the president’s antecedents and current flirtation with dictatorship should not be allowed to reverse the gains of liberal democracy to which the PDP and the UK are committed.
The party noted that the intervention of both the German and the UK governments, at this time, would help Nigeria and indeed Africa to avert a looming crisis that would divide Nigeria along its emerging fault lines.
This was contained in a letter dated August 30, 2018 and signed by PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and made available to journalists at the PDP national secretariat yesterday in Abuja.
It reads, “Sadly, the unfettered freedom and respect for human dignity entrenched by our party has been eroded in the last three years of the current administration.
“An important institution like the EFCC, which was established by the PDP government under President Olusegun Obasanjo and graciously still supported by international friends of Nigeria, including the tax payers of European Union, to professionally deal with the scourge of corruption, has now lost its essence and original intentions of the founders to become the Buhari administration’s tool for persecution of opposition members and perceived political opponents.
“The EFCC, under this administration, has metamorphosed into a draconian agency, showing scant regard for the rule of law and respect for human rights. The commission has turned the process of investigation into a media event to embarrass and tarnish the image of key opposition figures and sub-national governments of the federation perceived to be averse to the whims and electoral interest of the ruling party.”
The party called on the British prime minister to take Buhari away from the path of impunity and totalitarianism.
It stressed, “Also, his recent declaration, at an event of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), that rule of law will take second stage on issues involving alleged threat to national security, raises fresh concern about this administration’s attitude and respect for constitutional rule.
“The recent outburst by President Buhari that he will jail more looters, created national outrage and concern about the role of the judiciary and respect for our institutions.
“President’s statement provides context for the treasonable attack, by armed operatives of the secret police on the National Assembly, blocking members of the opposition from gaining access to their offices.
“It also explains the license behind the continued unlawful detention of Col. Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser, against multiple court orders mandating his release as well as the documented cases of human right abuses, including arbitrary and extra-judicial executions, unlawful arrests and detentions, torture, impunity, restriction of free speech and press freedom as catalogued in the reports by the United States Department of States and other international agencies.”
At this critical moment in Nigeria’s political development, PDP added, the nation cannot afford to revert to the impunity of governance that characterised the military in the past, enjoining the prime minister to use his immense clout to impress on the president and his administration to immediately retreat from the path of authoritarianism and embrace the ideals associated with a democracy.