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June 12: FG plots to clamp down on protesters – PDP

By Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged plots by the Federal Government to clamp down on groups and individuals planning peaceful protests to mark the June 12 Democracy Day and demand for good governance in the country.

In a statement on Friday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said the government intends to use security forces and thugs to unleash violence on protesters, as it did during the #EndSARS protests.

Calling for restraint, the party lamented the President Muhammadu Buhari- led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration has brutally violated all known tenets of democracy an returned the country to the dark era of military dictatorship, all in a bid to hold Nigerians under subjugation.

The statement said: “The brazen violation of statutory principle of separation of powers, disregard to rule of law, violent defilement of fundamental rights of citizens, erosion of free speech and freedom of expression, as even being witnessed in the ban on Twitter; stifling of the press, attack on peaceful protesters, manipulation of electoral processes, violation of the independence of the electoral commission, abuse of court processes, disobedience to court orders and other violations, show APC’s aversion to democracy and its tenets.

“Under the APC administration, the essence of democracy has taken flight as the nation degenerates into a painful totalitarianism, where APC leaders now regard other citizens as vassals and slaves in their own country.

“It is indeed disheartening that the very cause for which the symbol of June 12, Chief MKO Abiola struggled and paid the supreme price, has continued to be debased, desecrated and trampled underfoot by the Buhari administration and the APC”

The main opposition party observed that that June 12, instead of being a day of celebration of democracy, has become a sad reminder of betrayal by the APC and its leaders.

It further cautioned the President, APC and its elected leaders at all levels to desist from their “usual cosmetic address” to Nigerians on June 12, until they urgently reverse their detestation to democracy.

“Our party counsels President Buhari to use the occasion to reverse his administration’s anti-people policies including violation of human rights, infringement on freedom of expression as evinced in the ban on Twitter, clamp down on innocent protesters, crass nepotism as well as perceived hatred for persons from some sections of the country.

“President Buhari must use the occasion to end his assault on democracy by reintroducing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which he refused to sign, end the use of military to muzzle elections, as well as retreat from seeking to corrupt and annex the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by appointing his aide as national commissioner.

“Our party urges all leaders across board to reflect on the essence of June 12 and take steps to ensure that the martyrs and heroes of democracy did not labour and die in vain”, the party added.

The PDP urged Nigerians not to give up in the genuine collective struggle to reinforce democratic governance in the country, despite what it described as the intimidation, harassment and rights violations by the APC and its federal government.

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