Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Monday, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance that the rule of law will be secondary to “national interest” is strange to the laws of the country and completely unacceptable.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP stated that President Buhari’s comment is a “trademark of despotic rulers,” which has no place in a democratic society.
President Buhari while speaking at the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) annual conference in Abuja on Sunday said that rule of law must be subject to national interest.
But the opposition party thinks otherwise, saying it is ready to reject every attempt by the President and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to introduce “ trappings of military dictatorship” into the country’s democracy.
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The PDP further noted that it would stop at nothing to ensure that the International Criminal Court (ICC) holds President Buhari responsible for alleged violations of rule of law and criminal abuse of human rights committed under his administration in the last three years.
“It is instructive to note that contrary to claims by Mr. President, there is no pronouncement by the Supreme Court that subjugates constitutional rule of law and rights of citizens to the whims, caprices and dictatorial impulses of any President.
“Our national interest is thoroughly embedded, protected, expressed and enforced only under the rule of law as provided by our constitution and there is no how Nigerians can allow an individual to superimpose or override the constitution with his personal whims and impulses; a pattern that is characteristic of known dictators all over the world, as expressed in the obnoxious Executive Order 6, designed to justify a complete clamp down on political opponents ahead of 2019 general elections.
“President Buhari should therefore be made to answer for the litany of human rights violations in Nigeria, including documented disobedience to court orders, extra-judicial and arbitrary executions, unlawful arrests and political detentions, killing of persons in custody, torture and excessive use of force by security forces on innocent citizens, destruction of property, restriction of free speech, press, official corruption and lack of accountability as detailed in reports by various international bodies, including Transparency International (TI), Amnesty International (AI) and US Department of States.
“This is in addition to the quest to forcefully remove the leadership of the National Assembly, the blockade of the National Assembly and siege on the official residences of the Senate President and Deputy Senate President by the presidency controlled-security forces.
“We know that President Buhari is apprehensive of the electoral defeat that awaits him in February 2019 for which he is seeking ways to subvert the system, but we caution that in this desperation to hold unto to power, he must not seek to again, subvert our constitutional order as he will be firmly resisted by Nigerians,” the party stated.