US Rep. Christopher Smith accuses of Buhari crackdown against opposition
An American congressman, Christopher Smith, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari over the clamping down on opposition figures ahead of 2019 general elections.
“I am very concerned by the current trajectory in Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy and economy, and President Muhamadu Buhari’s apparent crackdown on non-violent protests and harassment of opposition leaders,” Smith said in a statement on Friday.
He cited the alleged freezing of bank accounts of People’s Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate Peter Obi and alleged arrest of two sons of PDP’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar as proofs of Buhari’s highhandedness.
However, both accusations were denied by the Nigerian government and the opposition party could not provide any evidence to back both claims.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission said in a statement that it arrested a son of a former Abia State governor Theodore Orji.
It said arrest had nothing to do with Atiku Abubakar’s son.
“It should be made clear that the EFCC never “went after” Atiku’s sons, neither was Atiku’s son arrested by the EFCC,” EFCC said.
Smith also said Buhari is ought to be questioned for the continual security challenges in the country.
“I further call upon President Buhari to use his authority to end the violence perpetrated by Fulani extremists, particularly in the Middle Belt region, and question why he has failed to do so,” Smith wrote via his official website.
Smith, who represents New Jersey’s Fourth District at the American Congress, also urged United States President Donald Trump to use his sanctioning authority to hold accountable any (Nigerian) official who subverts the 2019 electoral process or foment violence against citizens.
“I call upon the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that elections will be free and fair, and for the Commission to remain impartial,” he added.