The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday told President Muhammadu Buhari that his statement claiming that rule of law was secondary to his whims and self-determined “national interest” was strange to our laws and completely unacceptable.
Added to a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, the party sees the assertion as a direct trademark of despotic rulers and as such cannot find expression or accommodation in a democratic setting of our contemporary nation.
The PDP expressed readiness to rally Nigerians to reject every attempt by President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to introduce the long-forgotten trappings of military dictatorship into our democratic rule, which Nigerians laboured for many years to attain.
The party further stated that it will not stop at anything legitimate to ensure that the International Criminal Court (ICC) holds President Buhari responsible for violations of rule of law and criminal abuse of human rights committed under his rule in the last three years.
The statement added: “It is instructive to note that contrary to claims by Mr President, there is no pronouncement by the Supreme Court that subjugates constitutional rule of law and rights of citizens to the whims, caprices and dictatorial impulses of any President.
“Our national interest is thoroughly embedded, protected, expressed and enforced only under the rule of law as provided by our constitution and there is no how Nigerians can allow an individual to superimpose or override the constitution with his personal whims and impulses; a pattern that is characteristic of known dictators all over the world, as expressed in the obnoxious Executive Order 6, designed to justify a complete clampdown of political opponents ahead of 2019 general elections.
“President Buhari should therefore be made to answer for the litany of human rights violations in Nigeria, including documented disobedience to court orders, extra-judicial and arbitrary executions, unlawful arrests and political detentions, killing of persons in custody, torture and excessive use of force by security forces on innocent citizens, destruction of property, restriction of free speech, press, official corruption and lack of accountability as detailed in report by various international bodies, including Transparency International (TI), Amnesty International (AI) and US Department of States.
“This is in addition to the quest to forcefully remove the leadership of the National Assembly, the blockade of the National Assembly and siege of the official residences of the Senate President and Deputy Senate President by Presidency controlled-security forces.
“We know that President Buhari is apprehensive of the electoral defeat that awaits him in February 2019 for which he is seeking ways to subvert the system, but we caution that in this desperation to hold onto to power, he must not seek to again, subvert our constitutional order as he will be firmly resisted by Nigerians.”
The PDP, therefore, called on all Nigerians, particularly the Judiciary and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to speak out against this direct assault on our democracy as a nation before it is too late.