Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant and former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has objected to what he described as the victimisation of defectors to the party in Benue State.
He said those victimising Governor Samuel Ortom and his supporters are trying to truncate democracy, adding that the governor’s defection was in accordance with freedom of association guaranteed by the constitution.
Makarfi said in a statement by his media aide, Mukhtar Sirajo, that two-third of the 30-member House of Assembly was denied access into the chamber while seven lawmakers were given police protection to plot the impeachment of the governor.
He said: “It is an unlawful, disgraceful and undemocratic act, which portends a danger of monumental proportions to the country and its institutions. The freedom of association is the inalienable right of every Nigerian as enshrined in the nation’s constitution and all international conventions. The impeachment of a state governor is a legal and constitutional function, the process of which is clearly spelt out in our constitution, with no ambiguity.
“It therefore, smacks of hypocrisy and a brazen disrespect for fundamental human rights for the same party to now deny people the right defect from it for whatever reason(s). It is imperative that people’s rights and freedoms of movement and association and all other rights should be respected fully by the state and its agencies; and that both the APC and its government brace up for more people exercising these fundamental rights and respect same”
Makarfi urged the people of Benue State to, even as they resist this callous assault on their freedom, remain peaceful and law abiding and be assured that Nigerians are with them in this trying moment.
He enjoined Nigerians to, within lawful means, stand up to attempt to stifle the democratic space by a party that was the biggest beneficiary of defections, which is now jittery and clearly uncomfortable at the prospect of getting a dose of its own medicine.