Nigeria’s opposition party, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the placement of travelling ban on 50 prominent Nigerians by the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari, describing it as a ‘draconian step’ clearly targeted at members of the opposition parties, the business community, religious leaders, former political leaders and traditional rulers, perceived to be against Buhari’s re-election bid. .
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the party gave the rejection in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, on Saturday in Abuja.
Mr. Ologbondiyan said the ‘decree’ was a direct clampdown on the country’s democratic order and an overthrow of rights of the citizenry as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He said, “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.”
According to the PDP spokesman, 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.
Rejecting as unacceptable what he saw as total clampdown on the opposition and PDP supporters, Ologbondiyan added “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.”
The Buhari government had on Saturday placed 50 high-profile Nigerians on travel ban, without disclosing the names of those of the list.