An Igbo socio-political group for the cause of democracy and good governance, Nzuko Umunna, has again condemned the continued arrest of the Senator representing Abia South in the Senate, Eyinnaya Abaribe, by the Department of States Services, DSS, saying it is an assault on the country’s nascent democracy.
The group also said the Senator’s arrest without explanation as to why he was arrested is an affront on his fundamental human right.
In a statement to newsmen, the Igbo group called on the international bodies to wade in and ensure the democratic principles of the country are obeyed.
The statement reads thus:
“On the 22nd of June, 2018, rumours of the invasion of the private residence of distinguished Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe by men of the DSS became rife. The passage of time has confirmed not only the invasion of Senator Abaribe’s home but also his subsequent gestapo-like arrest. As at the time of this press statement, neither the DSS nor the Federal Government have deemed it fit to adduce reasons for the senator’s arrest.
Nzuko Umunna is horrified by this brazen affront on the fundamental human rights of Senator Abaribe. Like most law-abiding citizens and organisations, Nzuko Umunna views this unexplained arrest as an assault on our nascent and fragile democracy. We note that while the hounding of members of the opposition and perceived voices of protest appears to be a consistent measure in the current government, the arrest of a serving Senator signals a new low for Nigeria’s democracy.
Up until his arrest, Senator Abaribe was noted for his outspokenness and bold criticism of government policies. In the absence of robust reasons, the speculation is that his arrest is surreptitiously linked to his stance. This unwarranted move by the DSS has placed a dark cloud over our beloved country, with the average Joe wondering if his or her rights are guaranteed under our democracy.
We call for calm even as we raise the alarm that democracy is at the verge of collapse with what appears to be an undeserved attack on an arm of government as well as a threat to National security and peace.
Finally, we wish to alert the international community of this impending threat to democracy in Nigeria. We appeal to well-meaning individuals and the comity of nations to prevail on the Nigerian government to eschew intolerance and focus on providing adequate security for Nigerian citizens.”