…says ruling party ‘wants to bury democracy’
Coalition of United Political Parties, on Friday, condemned the arrest and alleged rough-handling of its spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, by security agents, urging the international community to closely monitor the dictatorial tendencies in Nigeria.
CUPP vowed that the ruling All Progressives Congress cannot intimidate the opposition into submission.
The umbrella group of opposition political parties in a statement issued in Abuja by its Co-spokesperson, Otunba Mark Adebayo, said Ugochinyere’s arrest as announced by his lawyers, Chibuzo C. Ezike and Co, was an affront on democracy and the rule of law.
According to Adebayo, “The arrest and alleged manhandling of Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere is a villainous and reprehensible attack on our democracy, freedom of speech and rule of law in the light of the fact that there is a subsisting court order against his arrest, detention, interrogation or otherwise by any security agency in Nigeria.
“The persistent disregard for court orders by this government is an unmitigated disaster for Nigeria’s democracy. This government has consistently shown its disdain for the Judiciary by sheer use of the mechanisms of intimidation against judges, which seems to be compromising the integrity of the judiciary as the last hope of the vulnerable and less-privileged members of society.
“We call for his immediate release, and that no harm must befall him in the custody of the police. We wish to assure this government that the opposition will neither be intimidated nor cowed into submission. At a time that the country’s security has collapsed under this government, it has resorted to targeting soft spots among the citizens that it has failed to protect rather than confront the desperate security situations in the land.
“This government has again reinforced its lack of democratic credentials and incapacity to operate a free society through tolerance of opposition.
“We call on the international community to closely monitor the unfolding dictatorial regime in Nigeria with a view to calling this APC government to order not to supplant and bury our democracy.
“We call on all Nigerians with a voice, to stand against these repressive tendencies and for all members of the opposition to rise up in unison against this malady. An injury to one is an injury to all.”