The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has rejected the placement of traveling restrictions on 50 high-profile Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the party gave the rejection in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Saturday in Abuja.
Mr Ologbondiyan described the restriction as a ‘draconian step’ clearly targeted at members of the opposition parties, business community, religious leaders, former political leaders and traditional rulers, perceived to be averse to President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.
He added that the ‘decree’ was a direct clampdown on the country’s democratic order and an overthrow of rights of citizenry as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“We hope this is not a ploy to harm certain eminent Nigerians on the claims of resisting travel restrictions.
“The whole world can now see how fascism is fast taking over our democracy and judicial system and how the Buhari administration, by fiat, has directly ordered that citizens be secretly trailed.
“Their movements and financial transactions are restricted by government agencies, without recourse to due process of the law,” he said.
Mr Ologbondiyan said the Presidency had gone into panic mode since the popular emergence of Atiku Abubakar as PDP presidential candidate and the spontaneous jubilation his emergence evoked across the country.
He said that the party maintained that the resort to total clampdown on the opposition and PDP supporters would be totally unacceptable.
“What this means is that all Nigerians, particularly opposition members, members of the business community and religious leaders have become endangered and stand the risk of state violence under the APC administration,” he said.
Mr Ologbondiyan alerted the international community to take note should any harm befall any opposition leader, key members of the business community and religious leaders across the country, as Nigerians march towards the 2019 general elections.
NAN recalls that Buhari had mandated the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to implement the Executive Order 6 (EO6) in full force following the instant judicial affirmation of the constitutionality and legality of the order.
According to a statement issued by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President, Media and Publicity, a number of enforcement procedures were currently in place.
Mr Shehu disclosed that the Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies had placed no fewer than 50 high profile persons directly affected by EO6 on watch-list.
They are to be restricted from leaving the country pending the determination of their cases.
He added that EO6 was specifically directed to relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that all assets within a minimum value of N50 million or equivalent, subject to investigation or litigation are protected from dissipation by employing all available lawful means, pending the final determination of any corruption-related matter.
“The Buhari administration reassures all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians of its commitment to the fight against corruption, in accordance with the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the general principles of the Rule of Law.
“Accordingly, this administration will uphold the rule of law in all its actions and the right of citizens would be protected as guaranteed by the Constitution,” he said.