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Buhari has embarked on political oppression of opponents – Group


*Demands release or arraignment of Olisa Metuh

If Nigeria is pushed into becoming a one party state and those with dissenting voices are chased around using EFCC we will surely enthrone totalitarianism…those with courage to speak out will go underground.

Olisa Metuh has been detained without charge for a week

If Nigeria is pushed into becoming a one party state and those with dissenting voices are chased around using EFCC we will surely enthrone totalitarianism…those with courage to speak out will go underground.

A pro-Democracy Non-governmental organisation -Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA ) has raised alarm over the growing ranks of political prisoners under the current dispensation even as it canvasses the purification of the anti-graft mechanisms devoid of executive interferences. 

The Rights group listed Mr Nnamdi Kanu of the Indigenous People of Biafra and the Director of the Europe Based Radio Biafra, Colonel Sambo Dasuki the erstwhile National Security Adviser and the Spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party Chief Olisa Metuh as some of the current political prisoners who are facing media trial because of their political convictions just as it asked the United Nations to intervene and save Nigeria from sliding into a full blown dictatorship. 

In a statement issued against the backdrop of the prolonged detention without trial of the official mouthpiece of Nigeria’s political opposition movement and the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Olisa Metuh on allegations that he was paid over a billion Naira from the $2.1 BILLION USD arms’ votes domiciled in the office of the immediate past National Security Adviser just as the politician has vehemently denied the allegations.

HURIWA in a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf also tasked the nation’s media practitioners to endeavour to do proper investigative reports so as not to continue spreading government propaganda over the alleged misapplication of the huge security vote by the former National Security Adviser who is charged in three different Federal High Courts over same offence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC). 

HURIWA said thus: “Gentlemen of the media, we thank you for living up to your constitutional bidding as the national conscience and the voice of the oppressed but politically persecuted citizens but the media must step up her investigative role as envisaged in section 22 of the constitution by not swallowing hook, line and sinker whatever tissues of propaganda dished out from the politically tainted mouth pieces of public officials”.

“Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution provides thus: “The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.”

The Rights group accused President Muhammadu Buhari of using the anti-graft agencies to spread propaganda meant to demonise the PDP so as to enthrone a one party state in Nigeria.    

“uninvestigated propaganda can go a long way in shaping public perception based on half- truths and outright falsehood as  we now witness with all manner of comical stories on the use to which the so-called security (not defense budget) vote has generated in Nigeria which was specifically choreographed to create soft landing for the current political bullying and deployment  of EFCC to harass, intimidate and physically detain top members of the political opposition in Nigeria with the aim of creating a one party state in Nigeria. 

“We can now see why even members of PDP are now running for federal/ presidential protection because they believe that it’s only in APC that salvation from EFCC’s witch-hunt lies. PDP unprincipled members are jumping ship to APC because they have seen that even former political office holders with massive allegations of crime including those who organised dinner for n82 million has gained presidential cover because they are in APC. The media must rise over just what dummies are dished out to them. This Armageddon of media propaganda and trial must be stopped so proper anti-graft crusade is waged. 

If Nigeria is pushed into becoming a one party state and those with dissenting voices are chased around using EFCC we will surely enthrone  totalitarianism and those with courage to speak out but are too scared of being persecuted in the media by EFCC  will go underground and Nigeria will be worst for it because the next stage is for the FGN to go after independent media and genuine civil society stakeholders and since Mr President said he can’t respect court orders  and some persons are clapping then we must be ready to live with full fledge dictatorship “.

HURIWA called on EFCC to charge Chief Metuh to court if it has good enough evidence and stop subjecting him to psychological and physical torture.”

“Gentlemen of the media, the recent clamp down on top politicians belonging to the only vibrant opposition party in Nigeria- PDP including the illegal detention of the publicly scribe of the PDP Chief Olisa Metuh is a serious threats to civil democracy because his detention based on nebulous allegation of involvement in the so-called sharing of the arms vote is undemocratic and unconstitutional and this dictatorial pattern of using the mass media to dish out soft tissues of lies and outright propaganda just to score cheap publicity and corner the popular support of the largely uninvestigative minds of Nigerian media audience is reprehensible and totally condemnable and is hereby condemned because it amounts  to media persecution of political opponents of the federal government and the people to silence PDP or political opposition in Nigeria by the abduction by EFCC of the national publicity secretary and his detention for more than 48 hours is totally  unacceptable. The attempt to silence opposition political voice is unwise and inimical to democracy and freedom of expression “.

Emmanuel Onwubiko

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