August 19, 2020

Na’Abba, Mailafia: Utomi flays assault on freedom of expression

DSS summons ex-Speaker, Na’abba 

Ghali Na’abba

Ghali Na’abba

By Simeon Ndaji

CO-CHAIRMAN, National Consultative Front, Professor Pat Utomi, yesterday, expressed worry over the assault on freedom of expression in the country, urging Nigerians to resist a return to dictatorship.

Utomi, in a statement, said: “If we resisted the military, surely, the people can resist civilians bound towards fascism.

“My co-chair of the National Consultative Front, Mr. Ghali Na’Abba and Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, were invited by the Department of State Security, DSS, on account of remarks they made. For Dr. Mailafia, it was a second journey within a week.

“History shows us that such invitations bear ominous foreboding because freedom of expression is usually the first victim in the decent toward totalitarianism. Check the trends in the early days of Hitler’s East Germany.

READ ALSO: Na’Abba: CNG flays FG over poor handling of citizens’ rights to expression

“Much blood has been shed to prevent our country from under-served fate of a totalitarian order. That blood flow includes that of General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, the annulment of the elections of June 12, 1993, and the life of Chief MKO Abiola, who we have come to honour posthumously, including many undergraduates, like Kyle Adepeju of the University of Ibadan 48 years ago. Adepeju was shot by the police and probably would have been a grandfather today. Should his grandchildren be denied the freedom he gave his life for?

“These security harassments of citizens exercising their fundamental human rights to express themselves and request accountability from those who ostensibly represent them are coming one month to the day the United Nations set aside, September 15, to mark the International Democracy Day, leads me to call on the global community, from the Secretary General of the United Nations, the prosecutors of the International Criminal Court, and our development partners to note development in Nigeria, and prepare to act appropriately.”