The civil society organisations (CSOs) and pressure groups under the auspices of People for the Defence of Human Rights in Nigeria have petitioned President Barrack Obama of the United States of America (USA) to urgently rein in President Muhammadu Buhari from sliding into authoritarianism and acts of gross human rights violation.
The group conveyed their fears for Nigerian democracy in a letter addressed to President Obama at the weekend through the US Ambassador to Nigeria, and signed by the Head, Leadership and Accountability Initiative, Mr. Henry-Shield Nwazuruahu; President, Egalitarian Mission, Africa, Comrade Kayode Ajulo; Head, Intergovernmental Liaison, Amb. Timothy Ihemadu; Head, Coalition of Social Media Activists in Nigeria, Mr. Churchill Umoren; President, African Youth Human Rights & Democracy Network, Comrade Olawale Ajani; and President, 100 Lawyers for Democracy & Justice, Zakari Babaa.
The group said: “The troubling trend of violation of citizens’ rights commenced with the election of Buhari as the President; this trend negates the basic principles of our democracy, freedom guaranteed by our Constitution, the maxim, innocent until proven guilty, and the UN General Assembly resolution 217A, which insists that fundamental human rights must be universally protected.”
The group alerted that if not checked, the President might relapse to dictatorial tendencies he exhibited during his military regime between 1983 and 1985, citing the recent house arrest of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and other perceived opponents of the government as examples.
They noted that many of the pre-election promises by the President and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) “have been denied and Nigeria has once again begun to witness obvious violations of citizens’ rights particularly targeted at members of the past administration and his perceived political rivals”.