The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted Abuja legislative quarters’ mosque executives for sacking the mosque’s Chief Imam, Muhammad Khalid, for allegedly preaching against President Muhammadu who he alleged had continue looking away while killings were been reported daily across the country.
It claimed that the action of the mosque’s executives indicated that All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration would continue shutting down people who have different opinions against the party’s style of government, rather than saving Nigerians from terrorism, banditry and other insecurity ravaging the nation.
While the PDP refrains from delving into religious issues, the opposition party, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, cautioned APC against suppressing 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.
It said: “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 into 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).
According to the statement, 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”