…Condemns Clampdown on Civil Society Activists, Others
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alerts of a fresh plot to use the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to forcefully remove the President of the Senate and Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO), Senator Bukola Saraki, from office as the Senate President.
The party also condemns in totality, the continued clampdown, harassment, intimidation, arrest and detention of members of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.
The plot, against Senator Saraki, which is akin to the last invasion of the National Assembly by anti-democratic forces, is to scuttle the success being recorded by the PDP Presidential campaign organization in its consultations and winning campaigns across the nation ahead of the 2019 general election.
The PDP is privy to clandestine meetings by the Buhari Presidency and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which has not been able to constitute a Presidential campaign organization, on ways to derail the PDP Presidential campaign by going against Senator Saraki.
Part of the plot is to use the police and the DSS to fabricate spurious charges against Senator Saraki, distract him and destabilize the PDP Presidential campaign, a scheme the PDP described as dead on arrival, as Nigerians are solidly behind the PDP in the mission to rescue the nation from the misrule of the APC.
In condemning the clampdown on CSOs, the party says the development smacks of scare mongering apparently to intimidate and cow the Civil Society from criticizing the misrule of the Buhari administration.
Of particular reference is the re-arresting and continued detention of a right activist, Deji Adeyanju, by the Police for a matter, which documents, in the public domain, show he has been discharged and acquitted by the court.
Information available shows that the authorities have not been confortable with Deji Adeyanju’s criticisms. However, arresting and detaining him on a matter for which there has been a conclusive judicial determination 9 years ago is in clear violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and in direct infringement of his right as a citizen under the law.
This is more so as even the spokesperson of President Buhari’s Campaign Organisation Festus Keyamo SAN, and who was Adeyanju’s defence attorney counsel on the matter which was before the court between 2005 and 2009, has, in a media report, attested that Adeyanju was discharged and acquitted, and that the prosecution did not file any appeal because it was satisfied with the ruling.
Nigeria is a democratic nation governed by the constitution and due process of the law. Allowing such impunity and trampling by security agencies to fester, will be a direct invitation to anarchy and chaos; and this is not the way to go.
Our citizens are also free, within the ambit of the laws, to hold the government accountable on issues. If the government of the day is not comfortable with criticisms, the acceptable approach is to provide answers, instead of this resort to a clamp down, using a matter that has been decided by the court.
The PDP therefore demands the immediate release of Mr. Adeyanju, if the police had found nothing incriminatory to charge him to court, within 48 hours of his arrest, in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).