The main opposition party in Nigeria the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suddenly woken up to its responsibilities of strengthening democracy by checkmating the excesses of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). We’d almost given up on the party considering the continuous snafus and its seeming inability to organise its spokesmen to provide a united front. But finally it is working, and it has chosen a grand way to do that. The party recently petitioned the United Nations accusing the APC-led federal government of human right violations.
The petition which was addressed to the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Antonio Gutierres and dated April 30 2018, was signed by its National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus. The petition titled Threats to Democracy, rule of law, basic freedoms and gross human rights violations by the federal government detailed several occurrences in which the federal government was alleged to have violated the rights of Nigerians including the press, members of the opposition parties, critics of government and selective prosecution especially as it relates to the administration’s famed ‘anti-corruption war’.
This petition by the PDP could have come earlier than now going by all the various nefarious activities of the APC led federal government in the country since 2015. Many individuals including former supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari have publicly condemned the president’s dictatorial predilections, and in response the government tried and failed to gag the media. Media practitioners have been detained for unjust causes, critics of the government have suffered intimidation through their businesses. This petition by the PDP is a replica of what Amnesty International released while commemorating the World Press Freedom Day which the federal government has done absolutely nothing to address.
At the moment the latest case of human rights violations involving Saadatu Mohammed Wife of Grema Terab a PDP gubernatorial aspirant in Borno who was detained by the Borno Police Command on 15th April 2018 readily comes to mind. The police detained the pregnant woman due to its inability to arrest her husband for a murder offence. While in detention the woman lost her pregnancy. Despite the pregnancy loss the police refused to release the woman and the federal government have kept mute on the incident.
Saadatu’s case is one out of thousands of recorded and non-recorded human right violations in the country perpetrated by the Federal Government. The UN is advised to take a cursory look at the petition and save Nigerians from impending Human Rights Abuse.