Monday 23 September 2019

Sowore’s trial electrocutes freedom, tolerance in Nigeria —Shehu Sani

A former vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator

Shehu Sani, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government was creating fear and a climate of intolerance in the country.

Sani, who is now the Executive Director, African Centre for Peace and Development, stated this on Monday in a statement issued in Abuja.

Referring to the trial of the Publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, Sani said the charges preferred against the activist had put a stain on the human rights records of Buhari’s government.

He also said the action was already creating fear in the minds of Nigerians with dissenting voices and opinions about the government in the country.

He said, “Sowore’s trial is unnecessary and uncalled for because it would only further stain the human rights record of this administration, diminish and dent the moral standing of our country.

“There is a climate of fear, intimidation and intolerance in the country and this contradicts the philosophy of progressivism the ruling establishment purports.

“The nation’s democracy is imperiled by a growing state culture of intolerance for dissent and opposing opinions.

“The President’s desire to build and leave behind an anti-corruption legacy and tower should not be cited in the human rights graveyard.

“If the ruling establishment is confident of its moral standing and support base, it should defeat Sowore with superior ideas and not persecute him.

“Sowore’s charges amount to electrocution of freedom.

“The democratic credentials of any elected government is not simply about the legitimacy of its mandate, but about the degree of its tolerance to dissent and its compliance with the fundamental principles of freedom.

“I appeal to the Federal Government to drop the charges filed against Sowore.

“Our democracy is becoming inhabitable and inhospitable to its ideal content.

“When a state equates dissent to disloyalty, it progressively decays under the weight of its courtiers.”

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