The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has written the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, over an alleged disrespect of the judiciary by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The party also accused Buhari-led Federal Government of impunity and other anti-democratic vices.
It further accused the current government of using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to intimidate the members of opposition parties.
Read the petition which was signed by the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, in part;
“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 taxpayers of the 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 former ruling party noted that “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 of our institutions.”
PDP also said that Buhari’s recent statement during the opening of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) annual event, raised concern on his government’s respect for the rule of law.
“Also, his recent declaration, at an event of the Nigerian Bar Association, that the 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.
“These revealing statements from the President provide 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 licence behind the continued unlawful detention of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), a former National Security Adviser, against multiple court orders mandating his release as well as the documented cases of human right abuses, including arbitrary and extrajudicial 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 we cannot afford to revert to the impunity of governance that characterised our military past.
“We, therefore, enjoin you, Madam Prime Minister, to use your immense clout to impress on President Buhari and his administration to immediately retreat from the path of authoritarianism and embrace the ideals associated with a democracy.
“President Buhari’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.
“Your intervention, at this time, will help Nigeria and indeed Africa to avert a looming crisis that will divide Nigeria along its emerging fault lines.”
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in its reply to the PDP, vehemently dismissed the claims, saying that the party was taking its pettiness to a ridiculous level.
The response was issued by Yekini Nabena, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC.
“It is unfortunate that the opposition party has taken its pettiness to an embarrassing level. They now say and write lies which they disguise as being in opposition.
“The whole world knows that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration has performed better than the PDP when it was in power. This administration respects the rights of Nigerians and would not do anything to the contrary.”