Sunday 16 August 2020

Na’Abba: Nigeria turning to police state – Arewa groups

The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has expressed dismay that the continuous attempt to suppress the existence of the right of freedom of expression of Nigerians by President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is exposing its failure in sportsmanship, statesmanship and political craftsmanship.

The CNG said it finds it worrying that the current administration is becoming more and more intolerant of opposition and criticisms and gradually dragging the country towards becoming a police state.

Expressing its concerns on the state of the nation, its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman in a statement issued on Sunday, said it is alarmed by reports that former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’abba, has been invited by the Department of State Services over the interview he granted Channels Television on Thursday regarding the agenda of the National Consultative Front to bring about a new Nigeria that works for all.

“We find this attempt to harass Na Abbah, a senior citizen and critical stakeholder in the nation’s democratic process, a brutal encroachment on the universal citizens right to freedom of expression which is a fundamental characteristic of any democratic state,” the statement explained.

According to the statement, ”it is ridiculous that those who run this government who happened to have benefited the most from the previous administration’s tolerant disposition should be the ones denying others the same right they enjoyed.”

It added, “The CNG repudiates this unhealthy, undemocratic trend of government’s exercise of power through security agencies to impose restrictions on citizens’ mobility, or on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views and hold it unacceptable.”

The group insisted that every Nigerian’s right to freedom of expression which is not only a primary cornerstone of democracy, but also prerequisite for the enjoyment of many of the other rights and freedoms ensured in our constitution and international conventions must be respected.

“We, therefore, find it absolutely unacceptable for a people who in no way bore the brunt of the struggle for the return to democracy to be hell-bent now on scuttling it,” it observed.

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