Clampdown on opposition won’t stop criticism of government’s blunders, Arewa groups tell Buhari
Condemns DSS invitation of Na’Abba
Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has said that no amount of clampdown by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government on the opposition will suppress criticism against its missteps.
Spokesman of CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, stated yesterday that the group found it worrying that the Buhari administration was becoming more intolerant of opposition and criticism and gradually dragging the country towards a police state.
The coalition condemned the invitation of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba, by the Department of State Services (DSS) for questioning.
The security agents reportedly invited Na’Abba over the interview he granted Channels Television last Thursday regarding the agenda of the National Consultative Front (NCF) to bring about a new Nigeria where democracy would be deepened.
He said: “We find this attempt to harass Na’Abba, a senior citizen and critical stakeholder in the nation’s democratic process, a brutal encroachment on the citizens’ universal right to freedom of expression, which is a fundamental characteristic of any democratic state.”
According to him, it is ridiculous that those who run the government, after benefitting the most from the previous administration’s tolerant disposition, should be the ones denying others the same right they enjoyed.
“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.
“We insist 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 enshrined 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,” he added.
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