The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the Federal Government over alleged repressive actions said to have been taking against known promoters of protest against police brutality across the country, saying the actions were ill-timed and conceived.
It explained that the increasing attempt to discredit and clampdown on the peaceful protesters through freezing of their bank account reflects the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s alleged cluelessness.
The opposition party maintained that it was time the apex government shun passing the buck and take responsibility for the violence and looting by hoodlums alleged to have been instigated by the authority to discredit the peaceful protest.
Through a statement on Wednesday by the party’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP asked to own up and apologized for its alleged role in the deployment of hoodlums and security operatives to attack peaceful protesters.
According to the party, instead of pointing accusing fingers on others, the Buhari Presidency should come clean on who used security vehicles to convey and coordinate thugs as well as who deployed soldiers to Lekki Toll gate in Lagos to attack unarmed and peaceful protesters.
“Our party is alarmed by the on-going clampdown and freezing of bank accounts of some Nigerians for participating in the genuine and peaceful protests against police brutality in various parts of our country.
“It is indeed distressing that the government officials could use the platform of a national television to attempt to justify such gross violation of our constitution, which can only come from an administration that thrives in bullying harmless citizens, entrenching recklessness and promoting corruption in the high place.
“The freezing of accounts of genuine protesters amounts to a deliberate effort to economically asphyxiate these Nigerians and their families, for calling for good governance, respect for the rights of citizens, end to police brutality and manifest slide to lawlessness under the Buhari administration. Such action does not engender hope among citizens, especially the youth. Instead, it goes to validate widely held view that government is not ready to listen to the citizens but has already convicted the protesters.
“It is even more disturbing that the government is hounding peaceful protesters while keeping silent on its alleged role in the mobilization of thugs and hoodlums who unleashed violence on Nigerians on the streets. Moreover, it is strange to the PDP how the Federal Government can be dissipating energy in harassing unarmed and harmless citizens who merely embarked on civil protest over obvious societal ills while insurgents, marauders and bandits continue to terrorise Nigerians across our country.
“Our party counsels the Federal Government to be more sensitive and immediately stop its clampdown on Nigerians especially at this critical time that our nation is in dire need of healing. The PDP however urges Nigerians, especially the youths, to remain calm despite these provocations in the overall interest of the unity, stability and good of our nation, particularly at this trying time,” the statement said.
It would be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently obtained an ex parte order to freeze the accounts of 20 individuals linked to the EndSARS protest, while the passport of a lawyer, Modupe Odele, who provided legal services for the protesters was seized by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), a development that prevented her from travelling for her birthday.
Protesters affected by the account restriction include Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise and Mosopefoluwa Odeseye.