By Temi Olowu
Former Vice President and prominent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, has raised his voice against what he perceives as a looming crackdown on opposition groups by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Nigeria.
In a post on his social media handle on X, Abubakar emphasized the significance of democratic principles that have been cherished and, in some instances, sacrificed for in Nigeria.
He urged the APC-led administration to abstain from employing the nation’s security agencies to intimidate or unlawfully detain any member or advocate of political opposition.
He said his appeal extends not only to members of his own political party but encompasses all opposition voices, including those who take to the internet to voice their aspirations for a better Nigeria.
Abubakar’s message underscored the importance of preserving the democratic tradition of accommodating diverse viewpoints without resorting to hostility. He pointed out that one of the strengths under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, where he served as Vice President was the government’s ability to entertain contrasting opinions, foster healthy debate, and enable the refinement of ideas, ultimately leading to better execution of policies and initiatives.
As a seasoned political leader, Abubakar acknowledged the frustration of the younger generation, who face a country of abundant potential but limited progress with an uncertain future.
Despite this, he emphasized the need for restraint and leading by example, refraining from needlessly heating up the political climate. However, he stressed that when opposition freedoms come under threat, it is the duty of Democrats and Patriots to speak out.
Abubakar expressed deep concern over recent revelations hinting at the suppression of dissenting voices and the levying of unsubstantiated charges against opposition figures. He argued that a vibrant democracy thrives when dissent is acknowledged, even if it makes those in authority uncomfortable.
A thriving democratic society, in Abubakar’s view, is one that respects and protects contrary viewpoints. Such diverse perspectives ensure transparency in governance and prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a few.
He cautioned against arresting or silencing opposition members based on fabricated charges, emphasizing that this not only violates democratic principles but also denies representation and justice to the people.
Abubakar, therefore, highlighted that the essence of democracy lies in justice, liberty, and equality for all, not just the comfort of those in power. He called upon Nigerians to unite in upholding these principles and safeguarding the rights of every voice, no matter how dissenting.
The former vice president affirmed his commitment to seeking justice, not only within the courts but as a collective responsibility for the betterment of Nigeria’s political landscape.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; email@example.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)