CLO kicks against campaign for life presidency for Buhari, crackdown on NASS


THE Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO on Tuesday warned of the grave dangers over the campaign for life presidency for President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the crackdown on the National Assembly.
To this end, the CLO pleaded with fellow human rights groups and the international community not to look the other side while notorious attempts are being made to lead Nigeria into avoidable confusion that would portend grave dangers for human rights, democracy and mankind at large.
Executive Director, CLO, Comrade, Ibuchukwu Ohabuenyi Ezike in a statement warned against, “the evil call for life Presidency and lawless efforts by certain leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) tilting to the use of force and undemocratic means to unseat the leadership of the National Assembly, notably the Senate.”
Comrade Ezike in the statement said that, “We are seriously alarmed by these unpleasant developments and, therefore, wish to call on Nigerians to be on the alert, and to resist any attempt to cause Nigeria’s slide to despotic authoritarianism and possible life presidency, which the forceful takeover of the leadership of either chamber of the National Assembly or all portends.
“Only recently, the Senator-elect, Bauchi South Senatorial District, Lawal-Yahaya Gumau, unfolded the plot of the ruling APC to self-perpetuate President Muhammadu Buhari in office after the constitutional two tenures.
“CLO notes that this dubious plot is capable of creating political tension in the country and cautions politicians against drawing Nigeria into avoidable political imbroglio.
“CLO is well aware of the impunity resulting in losses of lives and property that self-perpetuation in office or dictatorship has caused in Africa. It can’t be tolerated in Africa’s largest Democracy that should be a shining example to the world. We, therefore, use this medium to call the attention of Nigerians and the international community to the statement credited to Lawal-Yahaya Gumau, that the Senate under the APC would push for a life presidency for President Muhammadu Buhari”, he stated.
The statement quoted Gumau as saying, “By God’s grace, we will amend Nigeria’s constitution to allow Buhari to be president for the remaining years of his life. He will only cease to be president when God takes his life.”
The statement read: “we find this Freudian slip by a Senator-elect very alarming. Term limit is a critical tenet of a democracy. No president or governor, no matter how effective or well intended, should be allowed more than two terms in office as prescribed by our national Constitution.
“We recall, with nostalgia, how Nigerians of all walks of life, rose against former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006 when he made such demonic attempt at reviewing the Constitution in order to afford him a third term ticket. CLO wishes to reinstate that such Messianic mentality and personality worship has no place in Nigeria’s democracy, which the CLO and other pro-democracy organisations and patriots fought so hard for.
“Therefore, such agenda as expressed by Gumau, be it his personal legislative agenda or the collective agenda of the APC, should be condemned by all lovers of democracy, justice and peace.
“CLO is of the view that this heinous plot may not be unconnected with the desperation by the APC and the presidency to impose stooges on the National Assembly since 2015. We caution Nigerians against accepting such killer proposal, especially taking into cognisance the ethnic, religious and class configurations of Nigeria.
“We have keenly been observing the persistent abuse and misuse of power, security and anti-graft agencies by the APC government to intimidate the National Assembly, more so, the Senate, in its (government’s) quest to control and pocket that Arm of government and make the institution otiose. We maintain that this primitive quest is not only barbaric but too strong, obsessive, and fanatical to pass for a mere patriotic tussle for power to do good.
“Except the drive to throw Nigeria into confusion, we have not seen any patriotic rationale behind the consistent calls on the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to step down from office on the grounds of his defection to the opposition party.
“Those who are making these calls are obviously aware that their demand is mischievous and inconsistent with Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution. CLO recalls that this is not the first or second time Nigeria would witness such development which the ruling party also benefitted from. The case of Honourable Edwin Umezuoke in the Second Republic and His Excellency, the Governor of Sokoto state, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, in 2014, are glaring examples.
“We insist that the persistent misuse of the police, DSS, EFCC and other security agencies to hunt the leaders of the Senate and their family members is a distraction of governance and gross infraction on their human rights. They are strong-arm tactics that should not be associated with, or tolerated in a democracy, especially on the fringes of a general election.
“We call on Nigerians to be vigilant in order to protect their hard-won democracy from sliding into full-blown despotism or life presidency or by any name not known to our law. We did it before. We can do it again”, the statement concluded.