A pro democracy group, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC), has called on Nigerians to urgently “rise up” and rescue President Muhammadu Buhari from the captivity of cabals, fearing the hijack of state’s affairs by “influence peddlers.”
The coalition is also demanding the immediate release of all political rights activists and civil critics who are being detained in different cells all over the country, describing it as “a dangerous assault on democracy and a deliberate oppression of opposition to instill fear in the people.”
In a statement by its co-convener, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, the group stated that it was alarmed by what it described as the rising abuse of the rights of Nigerians by the state, urging governments at state and federal level to eradicate the thought of Nigerians living in fear of government.
“First, we must do everything to rescue Mr. President from the ravenous cabals and influence peddlers around the seat of power who have hijacked the ship of the state and denied his wife Aisha and immediate family members an unfettered access to him.
“These cabals for some times now since the health of Mr President started failing, have ridiculously ceased control of power through the backdoor and practically dictating the personal affair of the President, including last time when he was in London for treatment, while his wife Aisha was denied access to him.
“If the National Assembly cannot muster the gut to investigate the troubling developments around the Presidency to save the nation from “government within government” as once said by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, Nigerians should embark on a mass action to demand the sack of the cabals and free the President,” the coalition said.
CDNDC also warned that critics of governments especially at the state level and the people would not be cowed by “the misguided action of some state governors to terrorise critics, infringe on people’s fundamental human rights, gag free speech and undermine democracy.”
“Specifically, we want to tell Governors Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna State and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State that they cannot win this hypocritical, oppressive and wicked onslaught against the critics of their governments.
“We are urging all pro-democracy and rights activists and spirited Nigerians to take both legal and civil actions against these governors and their accomplices to stop them from turning their states into a police state where life is brutish and rights are denied.
“These governors and their cronies had enjoyed and fully exercise the rights to criticize previous governments, which they did in a most vociferous manner either directly or indirectly through sponsored groups and associations, and were not intimidated or incarcerated for doing so.”
“Consequently we are demanding for the freedom and immediate release of Austin Okai, Kemi Olunloyo, Gabriel Idibia, Jacob Dickson, Luka Biniyat and other critics and journalists who are in various detentions nationwide. This political barbarism must stop,” the statement said.
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