Buhari condemned El Rufai’s invitation by SSS
A former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, has warned the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government not to harass perceived political opponents in the build up to the 2015 general elections.
Speaking on a programme on Liberty FM Radio, Kaduna, on Monday, Mr. Buhari, who is also a leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said Nigerians were now aware of their fundamental rights more than before; and they knew what they expected from it.
He specifically condemned the recent invitation of the Deputy National Secretary of the APC, Nasir El Rufai, by the State Security Service, and said he wondered what he (El Rufai) had said that others had not said; that could warrant such treatment while others still walked the street free.
The leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, had warned last year that there would bloodshed if President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election.
The president is yet to declare his intention to contest the election.
Other Nigerians such as a former Information Minister, Edwin Clark; former Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife; and Junaid Mohammed had made inflammatory remarks about the coming polls.
“All we are fighting for now is to have proper democracy. What I mean is that whatever people say, whether they reflect briefly on it or not, Nigerians are now well aware of their rights and what they expect from the government,” Mr. Buhari said.
“What they (Nigerians) are doing is to fight for true democracy in the country. They want free and fair elections in the country in 2015.”
He said Mr. El Rufai, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, was merely exercising his constitutional right to freedom of speech.
Apparently referring to Mr. Dokubo-Asari, Mr. Buhari said it was not right to deny some Nigerians the right to express their opinions while others who threatened the cooperate existence of the country were not questioned.
“We have to properly secure and manage this country. You cannot deny some citizens their rights to express their own opinion and yet allow some to brazenly threaten the corporate existence of the country without inviting and asking them to explain themselves. Some of those people are given a ride in presidential jets.
“When others do it, government locks them up or harass them. That is not the way to do things. The government must stop harassing those in opposition parties,” he said.
The APC leader also condemned the arrest of the sons of Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for money laundering.
Mr. Lamido is one of the governors that have criticised President Goodluck Jonathan. He refused to decamp from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, despite criticising the leadership of the party then.
Mr. Buhari said he wondered what would happen to ordinary citizens if such could happen to the governor’s children.