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South South, South West leaders, others condemn assault on democracy

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Ayo Adebanjo

Leaders of Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Niger Delta and the North yesterday condemned the gradual slide to dictatorship and regulatory attack on democracy and its institutions under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

They particularly condemned President Buhari’s remark that national interest takes precedence over rule of law and asked him to immediately withdraw the statement.

At their summit presided over by Edwin Clark, Ayo Adebanjo and others, they said the President’s recent pronouncement that the rule of law must be subject to the nation’s security and national interests, was particularly worrisome and despicable.

They argued that on the contrary, national interest and the rule of law in a constitutional democracy were not and could not be mutually exclusive.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the summit, the leaders also said they were deeply concerned about the recent pronouncement of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that restructuring was not the country’s fundamental problem.

The summit urged the Vice President to retract the statement on restructuring, as it negated the position of majority of Nigerians.

It further demanded that a Judicial Commission of Inquiry be set up to examine the recent invasion of the National Assembly by security agents and its findings made public.

The communiqué also disclosed that the leaders resolved to work for the emergence of a new leadership that will arrest the slide from democracy and the rule of law.

In this regard, the summit insists on a new leadership to ensure the emergence of a truly federal, constitutional democracy in which no man or section of the country would feel oppressed.


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