The National Chairman of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies in the country to tread softly on their determination to subdue the opposition ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Nwosu said since he spoke to the press on June 8 concerning alleged plans by the administration to frame up ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, he had received death threats.
He insisted that he would stand firm to speak the truth to power, because the present federal government was transient.
The ADC was recently named the new platform for members of the Obasanjo-led political coalition.
In a statement on Tuesday, Nwosu noted that the government had failed to actualise its campaign promises to the people but was instead harassing Nigerians who elected it.
Parts of the statement read: “Luckily, Mr. President has just made June 12 Democracy Day. June 12 represents a watershed in our democratic struggle.
“This, therefore, should embolden all Nigerians the more to speak truth to power and take action against undemocratic and draconian tendencies of elected officials, including the number one citizen.
“Standing on that protocol, I wish to tell Mr. President and the security chiefs that they serve at the behest of the people, and that Nigeria belongs to the people of Nigeria.
“The National Assembly and Presidential lodge or Aso Rock villa belong to the people.
“The same applies to State Government Houses and Assemblies. This implies that any and all Nigerians must be treated with dignity for their service to make meaning.
“The present occupants of Aso Rock, the APC government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, promised Nigerians change (not deaths, jails, hardship or intimidation), a concept that was stolen from the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
“They chronicled a myriad of things to do within a given time for Nigerians. Unfortunately, they have delivered on none; rather, they have made things worse.”
“For a government intent on change, they spent the first six months of the administration doing nothing, and for one year they allowed cobwebs, dandruff, roaches, rodents, and even snakes to overrun the Villa and most of the government ministries and parastatals.
“They isolated and denigrated people. Our president who promised to develop our healthcare facilities to be at par with the best in the world spent a greater part of another year in foreign hospitals.
“Even the first lady who had protested of the husband’s faulty handling of governance had to cry out that the Villa clinic did not have mere syringes and was grossly ill-equipped.
“The basic rudiments of leading change – clear vision, building trust, deliberate coalition of stakeholders, and a sense of urgency – were absent.
“Benchmarked against all his predecessors since Nigeria’s independence, the APC leader has underperformed.
“Nigeria has gone from an emerging economy in the global space to an irrelevant state under President Buhari’s watch.
“The supposed corruption fight by the APC government has made nonsense of the good thoughts and prayers of the people who voted for him.”
Nwosu argued that the present administration was bereft of ideas to move Nigeria forward and had chosen instead to play to the gallery.
“With poverty of ideas, and poor leadership, the tactics to hold onto power is dangerous.
“You cannot suppress all voices of reason, and the draconian tactics now in place of the lies, empty promises, and propaganda styles of 2004/2005 will fail.
“The party in power now tells the world at the twilight of the President’s first tenure that the Senate President and leaders of the National Assembly are armed robbers, and killers.
“A president that refused to subject some political appointees to the constitutional requirement of screening, that allows persons who did not pass the needed scrutiny to serve full term, now feels he can play tricks with the democracy day gamble to earn himself champion of democracy.
“Buhari truncated the Shagari democratically-elected government in 1993.
“I have read articles and commentaries, by some Villa-rented crews, that Buhari has become champion of democracy, and that the Yoruba should be grateful to him.
“They forget that it was the Nigerian people who made June 12, 1993 possible.
“Left to Buhari the reality of June 12 will not be. He neither voted Abiola nor played any role to see that the people’s mandate materialized.
“Finally, the APC re-election agenda have zoomed on the former President, Dr. Obasanjo, as an albatross. This time they plan not to woo him for support, but to mow him down.
“The reasons are simple: Obasanjo put their horrible report card in the public space, and in addition, he has built a national stakeholders’ community of patriotic elders and youths.
“On May 10th of this year he made a major pronouncement endorsing ADC against the President’s APC.
“Now, like with the Senate President, the government is playing a heavy hand.
“The people have waited patiently to decide this regime’s faith through the ballot box, but if our government resorts to cruelty, the people have various other legitimate options to sack the government, from impeachment to mass action,” he added.