By Adejoke Adeleye
A youth group, the New Generation Leadership (NGL), has called on President Muhammad Buhari to obey key tenets of democracy which, according to them, include respect for the rule of law, judicial independence, due process, as well as political and media freedom.
The advice was contained in a statement released by Secretary of the group, Mr Adedayo Adegbayibi on happenings in Nigeria and the recent reaction of Punch Newspaper.
“General Buhari should be worried that some sections of the country and the international communities are scoring his regime low and thus should refrain from actions that could further turn the country into a laughing stock in the comity of democratic nations”, the group said.
It noted that it was a shame for the Nigerian government to be referred to as a military dictatorship in a democracy.
“The New Generation Leadership is openly condemning this regime’s actions and assaults on the courts, disobedience of court orders, arbitrary detention of citizens and violation of rights.
“Attacks on citizens, press, courts and the civic society , including self-determination groups lawfully exercising their inalienable rights to peaceful dissent are not in tandem with democratic norms, as citizens are supposed to enjoy unfettered freedoms guaranteed by the constitution and the rule of law, including the freedom to speak freely and assemble peacefully.
“It is disheartening to note that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim el-Zakzakky and his wife have spent over three years in detention in violation of court orders granting them bail and ordering their release.
” Also, a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has been held in detention since 2015 in defiance of several court orders, including one by the ECOWAS appellate court that declared his continued incarceration illegal.
“Sowore’s case was not different having ignored court orders granting him bail. The SSS, after much pressure following 125 days in captivity, released him only to stage a gestapo-style raid on the court where the journalist was standing trial.” The statement read.
The group, therefore, urged Nigerians and civil society groups to stand up for their rights and stage peaceful demonstrations to make government do the right thing.