Makarfi Protests Indiscriminate Arrest Of Members

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The Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has protested what it described as the untoward, unconstitutional and indiscriminate arrest and detention of PDP members and supporters nationwide on phantom charges by the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.

It cited the arrest and detention of the party’s Jigawa State chapter chairman, Mallam Salisu Mamuda for criticising the Jigawa state government for allegedly spending N400 million to entertain defectors from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement Monday by the spokesman of the Caretaker Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the faction also cited the arrest of its governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi by the Department of State Services (DSS) on February 17, 2017 for exposing the Forex racketeering by the APC led Government at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The statement continued, “Also on March 3, 2017, Alhaji Abdulrahman Mohammed, a PDP chieftain in Kogi State was arrested on trump-up charges and detained illegally for criticising the wrong policies, mis-governance  and non-performance of Governor Yahaya Bello.

“Just Monday, April 9, 2017, Mr. Austin Usman Okai, a PDP Youth leader and frontline critic of the Yahaya Bello’s APC led Government in Kogi State was arrested by men of the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on phantom petitions by some cronies of the Governor.

“There are also reports of indiscriminate arrest and detention of citizens of this country in Kaduna, Edo, Nasarawa amongst others at both the federal and state levels controlled by the ruling APC.

“These actions of the ruling party, the APC are absurd, disheartening and a serious threat to our hard earned democracy.  Nigerians cannot and should not be arrested and detained indiscriminately for criticizing and holding government accountable.

“Constructive criticism is the primary responsibility of opposition in a democracy all over the world and Nigeria cannot be an exception.

“We have also been alerted to the news of the Federal Government of Nigeria planning to tap mobile telephone lines and hacking of other devices of citizens as a way of harassing and intimidating them into silence.

“These and other unholy practices of this administration will henceforth be resisted by all Nigerians. We will mobilise Nigerians at all levels to fight against the use of arms in a democratic system to ridicule and intimidate citizens of this country.

“We will no longer tolerate this high handedness of the APC and we therefore demand the unconditional and immediate release of Mr. Austin Usman Okai and all our members in several detention centres of security agencies across the country.

“Finally, we wish to use this medium to inform world leaders on the serious issues of human rights violation in Nigeria since the APC administration took over power in May 29, 2015.

“We call on all civil rights organisations across the country and in the Diaspora to rise to the occasion. Our democracy is in serious danger and the leadership of the APC must be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order as a result of these undemocratic behaviours”.

Source: TheNation

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