There was deep confusion at the National Headquarters of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on Sunday, as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, filed a petition at the United Nations, UN, against President Muhammadu Buhari.
To the APC leadership, it was an affront to accuse President Buhari of trying to kill democracy in Nigeria.
In a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, told the world body that President Buhari has a predetermined plan to use Federal Agencies, like the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the Army, and the Police, to ‘truncate’ Nigeria’s democracy.
The letter, dated April 30, 2018, accused the President of violating the Nigerian Constitution and persecuting members of the opposition, as well as attacking Journalists and “well-meaning” Nigerians, who hold different opinions from Buhari’s party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The British, German, French, Chinese, United States, and the Russian Embassies in Nigeria, as well as the European Union Secretariat in Abuja, were copied in the letter.
The party mentioned the recent arrest and arraignment of a Senator from Kogi State, Dino Malaye, and how another Senator, Matthew Urhoghide, was physically attacked by pro-APC thugs in his home State of Edo, as evident of the President’s intolerance of opposition and criticism.
The PDP, which accused President Buhari of being desperate to retain power, stated that the President was shielding his corrupt party members from the law, while allegedly using the guise of anti-corruption to witch-hunt members of the opposition.
“In Kogi, Borno, and Kaduna States, there are reports of the government sponsoring agents to attack and destroy properties belonging to opposition members and supporters.
“The Governor of Kaduna State demolished a property belonging to an opposition member and perceived political opponent; the PDP Secretariat in Borno State was demolished; whilst party’s properties and those of supporters were destroyed by agents of government in Adamawa State”, Secondus said in the letter.
Secondus also said that: “All notable opposition Leaders are being harassed or hounded by Security Operatives, using all manners of frivolous and vexatious allegations.
“Today, despite our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association and speech, Nigerians now live in fear of this intolerant, overbearing, bigoted and dictatorial administration, seeking to foist a fascist regime on our country.
“How do we explain or justify the evil plan of the APC-led Federal Government to monitor citizens’ phone calls and social media communication, purportedly to check for hate speeches without any enabling law?
“We decry this raging intimidation of our party officials, members and supporters, and call on the United Nations and the International community, to stand up and condemn this drift towards stone-age despotism. Nigeria is a democratic State and we reject any attempt by anybody to suppress the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people, particularly, regarding the choice of how they should be governed.”
The PDP assured the UN Secretary-General, that the party would continue to pursue the ideals of democracy for the common good of the people, as laid down by the founding fathers of the party.