The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the clampdown on the revered Muslim Cleric, Sheikh Muhammad Nuru Khalid, for speaking truth to power on the “failure and now exposed refusal by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to decisively defend Nigerians from terrorists signals a dangerous trend of fascism in our country.”
The PDP said while it refrained from delving into religious issues, it however cautioned the APC to note that suppressing the concerns of citizens and resorting to fascist measures where constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression is being brazenly assaulted is capable of triggering widespread social restiveness and escalating the already tensed situation in the country.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba
It read in part, “This APC’s recourse to an onslaught on the voice of citizens as witnessed in the clampdown on religious leaders, the opposition, the civil society and the media indicates an unacceptable descent to tyranny and imposition of a siege mentality to suppress dissenting voices in the face of APC’s manifest failure.
“It is often said that when propaganda, falsehood and lies have been promoted, elevated and institutionalized by a government (like the APC has done) every truth by the citizens is viewed as a rebellion, which the government feels obliged to crush by all means.
“This is the character of fascism which is gradually and steadily creeping into our country under the APC and now deoxygenating our citizen’s exercise of their freedom of expression as guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“The clampdown on Sheikh Khalid is reminiscent of the days of the obnoxious Military Decree 4 of 1984, under General Muhammadu Buhari, as Head of State, when telling the truth was categorized as a crime. Those days are scaringly creeping back!
“Sheikh Khalid, in his sermon clearly expressed the frustration and concerns of millions of Nigerians across the country irrespective of religious, ethnic and political leanings.
“The question to ask is; “Is Sheikh Khalid not stating the facts when he stated that “everything is not working well. People are dying; our roads are not secured. Most of the part of the country is not secured”.., that the APC is more concerned with 2023 elections than the welfare and security of Nigerians?
“Sheikh Khalid further wondered like every other Nigerian that if terrorists can gather and dispatch intelligence information as if they are a government of their own and use same to massacre and abduct Nigerians, how come the APC government cannot gather and share intelligence information to stop the carnage by terrorists?
“These are self-evident facts and what Nigerians expect from the APC administration, if not complicit, is to shed its arrogance in failure and reassure the people by taking decisive action against terrorism and worsening insecurity in our country.
“The APC must know that we are in a democracy and that this country belongs to all Nigerians; that Nigerians are not a conquered people who have no voice or aspiration; and that history is replete with the fact that no individual or group of individuals had ever subdued or conquered Nigerians at any time.”