PDP Writes UN Over Threat To Democracy …Says FG Abuses Rule Of Law …Illegal Use Of SARS At APC Congress Vindicates Us -Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike(middle), with corps members at the Permanent Orientation Camp at Nonwa, Tai Local Government Area, last Friday.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has written to the United Nations (UN), accusing the Federal Government of gross human rights violations and conducts threatening the nation’s democracy, among other infractions.
In a petition entitled, “Threat to Democracy, Rule of Law, Basic Freedoms, and Gross Human Rights Violation by the Federal Government of Nigeria,” addressed to UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterress, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Abuja, yesterday, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of frustrating political opposition, adding that since its assumption of office, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration has been harassing and intimidating opposition figures in the country.
He also fingered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies of working in synergy with government to perpetuate the APC-led government in office beyond 2019.
A part of the petition reads: “On the 9th of December 2017, I was elected the National Chairman of the PDP, by virtue of which I became the official leader of the opposition in Nigeria. Prior to this, in 2015, our party’s government led by former President Goodluck Jonathan conducted a globally-acclaimed free and fair presidential election and for the first time in our nation’s history, superintended a peaceful, democratic transition of power from a party in government to an opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).
“Our expectations had been that this government would work to strengthen or at least, sustain the gains of this democratic milestone.
“The President Buhari-led APC government is doing all it can to frustrate legitimate opposition and to intimidate and persecute our leaders and ultimately destroy the fragile fabrics of our burgeoning democracy.
“Our nation has become heavily polarised along dangerous fault lines where citizens now live in fear and mutual suspicion; where citizens are slaughtered by the day by marauders; where hunger and strange diseases ravage the people due to the insensitive and incoherent policies of this government.
“I am constrained to bring to the attention of the United Nations what appears to be a predetermined and orchestrated plan by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria through various agencies including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigerian Police and other security organisations to truncate Nigeria’s democracy,” Secondus said.
On alleged intimidation of opposition members, the party wrote: “Since assumption of office in 2015, the President and the Federal Government agencies have provided a blanket shield for its corrupt officials and for any member of the opposition who decamps to the ruling APC.
“Recently the Federal Government confirmed the persecution of opposition leaders in the guise of fighting corruption when it released a phantom list of alleged looters comprising only of persons who are members of the opposition PDP.
“Even persons who were facing criminal prosecution prior to the 2015 presidential elections who are now members of the ruling APC and other members of APC who are overtly known to be involved in known cases of corruption were excluded from the list whilst persons who have never been charged with any crime and who in fact have not held any previous government portfolio including myself were listed as ‘looters’,” Secondus noted, adding that “All notable opposition leaders are being harassed or hounded by security operatives using all manners of frivolous and vexatious allegations.”
The party further drew the attention of the UN to what it called the intimidation of its supporters in “Edo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kogi, Borno, Adamawa, Delta and other states for expressing a divergent political opinion, particularly on the exposed corruption, abuses and constitutional violations.”
Also of worry to the PDP is the security situation in the country, stressing that government has simply failed to tackle the menace headlong.
“On a daily basis, the nation is inundated with news of gruesome killings and unabating violence across the country, with Nigerians being hacked down or abducted by marauders and insurgents under the President Buhari government, which has failed to take decisive steps to stem the ugly tide.
“Despite persistent killings and wanton destruction of several communities, not even one person has been arrested or prosecuted by the Federal Government for these crimes against humanity.
“There have been several allegations of the military and police authorities refusing to act on early warning information to prevent attacks on several communities in Benue and Taraba states,” it stated.
“The President openly admitted that the Inspector General of Police refused to obey a presidential directive to temporarily relocate the Police operational headquarters to Benue State in the wake of the killings in that state, but the President failed to sanction the Inspector-General of police and did not as much, issue a query to the erring police chief who continues in office”, Secondus stated.
On the 2019 general elections, Secondus said: “Indication that the ruling APC does not intend to abide by the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria and the Electoral Act came to the fore in February, 2018, when the National Executive Committee resolved to illegally extend the terms of the incumbent National Working Committee of the party to pave the way for the sole candidature of President Buhari contrary to the unambiguous provisions of Section 223 of the Nigerian Constitution on the tenure of the national working committee of a political party, adding that “It has now emerged that the President and the ruling party are in collusion with INEC to manipulate the processes leading to and influence the outcome of the 2019 general elections. ”
On the Excess Crude Account (ECA) $496billion controversy, Secondus said, “The Federal Government has been struggling to rationalize and legalise the unilateral withdrawal of $1billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) purportedly for the fight against Boko Haram without the prior approval of the National Assembly which has the sole power to appropriate funds for federal expenditure.
“Just recently, the president unilaterally and unconstitutionally disbursed the sum of $496billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), ostensibly for the purchase of Tucano fighter aircrafts from the United States without appropriation by the National Assembly,” the petition further noted.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared that the illegal use of operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and military personnel to cause rancour ahead of last Saturday’s All Progressives Congress (APC) congress in the state has vindicated him.
Wike stated that the series of statements released by APC stakeholders on the illegal activities of SARs personnel in the course of their forthcoming congress should draw the attention of all well-meaning lovers of democracy.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Retired Military and Para-Military Officers of Ogoni Extraction at the Government House, Port Harcourt, last Friday, Wike said if security agencies could be negatively used during a party congress, Nigerians should expect electoral mischief, masterminded by security agencies in 2019.
He said: “In an ordinary party congress, over a platoon of soldiers and more than 200 SARS personnel have been handed over to one man. If these operatives protect just one man, what will happen to other communities that are left without protection?
“Even the notorious election rigger, SARS Commander, Akin Fakorede is operating without check because he has the support of the Police High Command”, the governor said.