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June 12: Group Calls For Prayers, Warns Against Humanitarian Crisis




A United States based organisation, Democratic Vanguard of Nigeria in Diaspora (DVND) has called for sincere prayers for Nigeria as it marks Democracy Day.

The organisation further stated that in case of any humanitarian situation in the country, it would not only spill over to other countries in Africa but also put pressure on the outside world.

In a statement signed by the president of DVND, Timothy A. Sule, and released to newsmen in Abuja yesterday to commemorate June 12 as a Democracy Day, the group decried what it called “precarious political situation in Nigeria, especially the fears of imminent collapse of democracy in our great country of Nigeria.”

“As a country of over 200 million people, any humanitarian situation will not only spill over to other countries in the African sub-region but also put pressure on the outside world. We members of Democracy Vanguard of Nigeria in diaspora USA call for sincere prayers for our great country, Nigeria.

“Events of the 2019 general election, particularly the presidential election, with the use of the military and other apparatus of force to suppress free ballot, unleash violence on voters and coerce the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to alter results already delivered at the polling units, portend the termination of our constitutional democratic order unless efforts are concerted to stem the tide.

“The just concluded March 9, 2019 governorship and state assembly elections were also stamped by state backed intimidation, killing, arrest and illegal detention of opposition figures and use of security operatives to suppress Nigerians, in a bid to foist a one-party state and secure legitimacy for the widely rejected Presidential election results”.

Ladies and gentlemen, what has happened in Nigeria between February 23 and March 9 is akin to the perfection of a military coup and subjugation of the will of the people by a vetoed few.

“As you may be aware, in the last three years, there has been a calculated relegation of our nation’s constitution and extant laws; unrelenting attack on all our democratic institutions, particularly the National Assembly and the Judiciary, disobedience to court orders, clamp down on the media and members of the civil society organisations and a slide towards totalitarianism, with the Nigerian federal government, systematically working to silence legitimate dissent. Governance in our nation is gradually regressing to the 1984 era, when citizens were wantonly arrested, locked up and dehumanized with military decrees for expressing opinion considered to be contrary to that of those in power,” it said.

The group said the report of international bodies, including the United States Department of States 2017 Country Report on Human Rights detailed human rights abuses in Nigeria to include extrajudicial and arbitrary killings; disappearances and arbitrary detentions; torture, particularly in detention facilities, including sexual exploitation and abuse; use of children by some security elements, looting, and destruction of property; civilian detentions in military facilities, often based on flimsy evidence; denial of fair public trial; executive influence on the judiciary; infringement on citizen’s privacy rights; restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and movement among others.

According to the statement, before the general elections, the federal government, had gradually worked towards total annihilation of Nigeria’s democracy and recalled how in August 7th 2018, security operatives invaded National Assembly and disrupted legislative activities in the bid to execute a forceful removal of the elected leadership of the Senate. It noted that this is in addition to constant harassment of federal lawmakers and besiegement of the official residents of the leaders of the Senate by security operatives.

It observed that even the Judiciary has not been spared adding that in January this year the executive arm jettisoned the constitutional principle of separation of powers to assault the judiciary leading to the suspension and forcefully removal of a sitting Chief Justice of Nigeria. “It is very instructive to convey to you that, today, act of nepotism, injustice and deliberate sectional marginalisation by the federal government have so divided our nation along primordial fault lines that our corporate existence as a nation is heavily threatened,” the group said.



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