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PDP Must Have A Clear Stand on Human Rights Violations, CSOs Tell Secondus


 

 Civil Society Organisations (CSO), such as Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution and Convener, Free Nigeria Movement have called on the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), Prince Uche Secondus and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, that they can no longer accuse the Muhammadu Buhari administration of human rights violations why governors on their platform commit the same act.
  In a letter submitted to the party's headquarters in Wadata Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja and tagged 'Human Rights violations in Cross River & Akwa Ibom States and other matters, the leaders of the group, Comrade Deji Adeyanju, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, and Adebayo Raphael, they stated, "We write to express our displeasure and condemn the insensitivity of your party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), on the rising intolerance and disturbing cases of human rights violations, in some States where your party members presently hold sway. 
"It is unfortunate that as the leading opposition party which regularly condemns the lawlessness of the ruling party at the Centre, some of your governors, specifically Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, has chosen the odious path of intolerance while embarking on coercive campaigns of arrest and arbitrary detention of social critics and political activists perceived as enemies for being critical of their governments. 
The added, 'the act of executive tyranny is a gross violation of the Fundamental Human Rights of the victims as guaranteed under Sections 39 and 35 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). We make bold to say that the kitchen of Leadership is not meant for those who cannot stand the test and heat of public criticisms. At every level, leaders must develop the capacity to respond to criticisms with facts and figures to set the records straight.
"Mr. Agba Jalingo, a journalist who was arrested, kept incommunicado for weeks, and is now being prosecuted in handcuffs on charges of treasonable felony, terrorism and attempt to topple the Cross River State Government, after 34 days in police custody; because he published a report exposing how Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State approved and immediately diverted N500m meant for Cross River State Microfinance bank. 
Again, Mr. Michael Itok, a 21-year-old Bank marketer with Prudential Microfinance Bank, Uyo, has been arrested and remanded in prison custody for weeks on the order of Governor Udom Emmanuel for allegedly publishing “damaging and annoying” articles on Facebook against the governor.
  "According to a report on a credible news platform, Mr. Itok was on Tuesday, 26 November 2019, arraigned before a magistrate court in Uyo, by the State Security Service, SSS. He was accused of writing numerous articles against the Akwa Ibom governor and other officials of the State’s government.
The the action of Governor Ayade and Governor Udom amounts to a violation of Mr. Jalingo and Mr. Itok’s rights to free speech and press freedom. Both men, we believe, have merely done what the PDP does regularly when criticizing the ruling APC. It is, therefore, disingenuous to see governors from your party committing the same egregious violations that you often condemn.
Since the governors of these states are members of your party, we urge the PDP, as a matter of urgency, to prevail on both governors and others yet to be identified, to drop all frivolous charges against all the prisoners of conscience in their respective States. 
"We believe that the PDP must have a clear stand on human rights violations and democratic freedoms. We equally believe that these acts of human rights violations must be strongly condemned and put to an end within your party; just as you demand of the ruling party, APC.
We also, wish to task your party to take a definite stand on the raging public agitation against the two obnoxious bills in the National Assembly. Although the Social Media Bill and Hate Speech Bill are already being condemned by some senators from your party, we have, nonetheless seen a few members of your party, specifically Senators Elisha Abbo and Abba Moro, supporting the Bills.
  It is our fervent believe that Democracy will die the day citizens can no longer express themselves freely, whether rightly or wrongly.

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