The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), has written a petition to the United Nations in which it accused the Federal Government of human rights violations.
The petition, dated April 30, 2018, and addressed to the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, was signed by the National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus.
The petition was titled, ‘Threats to democracy, rule of law, basic freedoms and gross human rights violations by the Federal Government’.
He detailed how the All Progressives Congress, APC, led federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari defeated the PDP in 2015.
The National Chairman said the expectation then was that the present government would work to strengthen or, at least, sustain the gains of the democratic foundations which he said were laid by the PDP.
Secondus stated, “Regrettably, 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”.
His words, “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, the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police and other security organisations, to truncate Nigeria’s democracy.
“The President and his administration are too desperate to retain power against the wishes of the Nigerian people who are groaning under the yoke of the misrule of the government in the last three years.
“It is imperative to bring to the attention of the world, the various constitutional violations and the unrelenting persecution, arrest, detention and harried trial of opposition members as well as perceived opponents of government, including innocent business concerns, apparently in pursuit of the grand plot to discredit and stifle the opposition in Nigeria”.
Secondus alleged that there were what he called the increasing unwarranted attacks by government-controlled security forces on journalists, media houses, and other well-meaning Nigerians carrying out their legitimate duties for holding different opinions from those of the APC-led government.
He said since President Buhari assumed office, the President and government security agencies “have provided a blanket shield for its corrupt officials and for any member of the opposition who defects to the ruling APC”.
The PDP Chairman further said, “Even persons, who were facing criminal prosecution prior to the 2015 presidential election, 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 portfolios, including myself, were listed as ‘looters’.
“All notable opposition leaders are being harassed or hounded by security operatives using all manner 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 speech without any enabling law?
“The PDP is alerting the entire world to the increasing aggression and cruelty against opposition members and perceived opponents of government by the Federal Government, which is now using the apparatus of state power in their desperation to cow and subjugate opposition, suppress constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and association in our country”.