The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has commended the British parliament for standing in defence of human rights during the recent agitations across the country against police brutality.
This is even as the party lauded the government of the United Kingdom for muting possible sanctions against human rights breaches at the end of investigation and reports by the judicial panels of inquiry currently sitting across some states of the federation.
In a statement signed on behalf of the leadership of the party by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP urged the United Nations and other international bodies to immediately make known officials of the federal government involved in the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protests, particularly in Lagos.
“Our party urges the British Government to extend the proposed sanctions to include the freezing of assets and funds belonging to such officials and their families in the United Kingdom.
“We also call on other countries, including United States, France, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa among others to impose sanctions against indicted officials of the Buhari administration for human rights violations and crime against humanity. Such sanctions should also be imposed on officials indicted for undermining our democracy and electoral system.
“The international community must call out President Buhari, as the buck stops on his table, as the commander-in-chief, under whose watch, human rights violations including arbitrary arrests and detention in dehumanizing facilities, widespread extrajudicial killings, sudden disappearances of dissenting voices, disregard to rule of law, disobedience to court orders and foisting of siege mentality on the citizenry, have become the order of the day.
“Indeed, the manifest use of brute force, including the deployment of the military with live ammunition, in addition to recruiting of armed thugs to attack and kill innocent Nigerian youths, who were in peaceful demonstration against widespread police brutality and other systemic injustices, underscores the horrible situation in Nigeria under President Buhari as detailed in earlier reports by Amnesty International and US Department of State among other international bodies.
“Is it not frightening that the Buhari Presidency has failed to come clean on who ordered the deployment of troops to Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, where unarmed demonstrators were allegedly shot and killed even while waving our national flag and singing our nation’s anthem?
“Is it not equally frightening that government has also failed to explain how armed thugs were seen being brought in security vans to unleash violence on demonstrators in Abuja and other parts of our country?,” it asked.
The PDP noted that “rather than providing answers to these troubling questions, the federal government is desperate to gag Nigerians, muzzle the press, shut down the social media and even threatening the international media including CNN for carrying out an investigative report on the Lekki killing, while its officials continue to make contradicting claims on the matter.”
The statement continued: “The administration had turned a deaf ear to the demand for an independent national truth commission on the killings. Such stance only points to desperation for a huge cover up in the face of demand for answers by Nigerians and the international community.”
It would be recalled that Theresa Villiers, a member of the British Parliament for Chipping Barnet, earlier in the week, called on the UK government to “provide accountability for and be a deterrent to anyone involved in violations of human rights” in Nigeria during the recent crises, adding that the UK sanction regime gives the country “a powerful new tool to hold to account perpetrators of serious human rights violations and abuses.”