The African Action Congress has asked the Department of State Services to desist from attempting to infringe on the rights of Nigerians to “freely assemble, organise and express themselves without any intimidation.”
The AAC said on Monday in a release that the DSS ought to tackle the insecurity manifested through the marauding gunmen, kidnappers and bandits.
The National Publicity Secretary of the AAC, Femi Adeyeye, stated that “patriotism cannot be forced on a people who have been denied social justice.”
The DSS had on Sunday said it warned Nigerian “religious and political leaders against making utterances capable of destabilising the country under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.”
A statement by Peter Afunanya, its spokesman, had accused some clerics and prominent leaders of making divisive comments and collaborating with external forces seeking to plunge Nigeria into crisis.
The development had come amid controversies that trailed call by Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, that the National Assembly should impeach President Muhammadu Buhari if he fails to resign over rising insecurity in the country.
Reacting to the DSS release, the AAC said, “It is no news anymore that the polity has been engaged by Nigerians with a lot of agitations for social, political and economic justice. There is no overbloating that these agitations are being orchestrated across the full length and breadth of the country with Nigerians in diaspora not excluded.
“In the acceptance of the aforementioned, the DSS in a press statement has taken its usual uncivilised posture of heating up the polity with threats and subversive statements against the constitutional rights of Nigerians to freely speak, assemble and protest against the unfortunate trend of insecurity, poverty, corruption and total lack of respect for citizenship.
“It is indeed unfortunate that this security outfit that has been grossly incapable of fishing out terrorists, bandits; ‘unknown gunmen’ both on our streets and inside government offices; such gross incompetence, that has turned the country to a hotbed of kidnappings, terrorism and banditry has suddenly found its reed voice and has taken to the market to threaten Nigerians whom in an harmonious manner have passed a vote of no confidence on the tyrannical and anti-people Buhari regime.
“For a country that now ranks 3rd most terrorised nation in the world, it is rather pathetic that instead of addressing this ridiculous ’feat’, the regime concerns itself with a misplaced priority of chasing after protesters and critics while empowering, protecting and defending terrorists.
“It is evident that the DSS needs a course on democratic tenets and principles and how people’s rights to disagree must be respected. The act of drawing a red line to people’s rights must be condemned by all and sundry just as we have always maintained in the African Action Congress (AAC). As a party, we have long come to the conclusion that the Buhari regime is incapable of running a democratic and highly effective government guided by the rule of law.
“It is our position at the African Action Congress that the rights of Nigerians to freely assemble, organise and express themselves without any intimidation must be fully respected. We reiterate for the umpteenth time that patriotism cannot be forced on a people who have been denied social justice.”
SaharaReporters, New York