We wish to alert Nigerians and the international community that the latest arrest of Entertainment Magnate, Audu Maikori, who has ventured into speaking for the oppressed people of Southern Kaduna in Kaduna State, Nigeria, is part of a wider plot to crack down on critics of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) at the centre and in some states of the federation.
It is worrying that Nigeria is fast descending into a fascist state where opposition to government and criticisms of actions has become a sin against the ruling class. There is a high degree of intolerance, where opposing views are not condoned, as never seen before under any democratic dispensation since 1960. The arrest of the founder of Chocolate City, Maikori, is a part of the bigger plot to silence dissenting views across the country.
Since Maikori and some human rights activists and social crusaders have elected to speak for the oppressed people of Southern Kaduna who have been killed in their hundreds and displaced in their thousands, and also exposed the state conspiracy against them, Gov. Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna State has been plotting to arrest them and use federal forces to cow them into submission.
We are aware that Maikori has immediately and since apologized to the public for a single error of information put in the public out of real uncountable number of killings and maiming carried out against his people. But El Rufai who prefers to latch on to this to pursue a personal vendetta against Maikori and others who are on their waiting list of arrest. We will not allow this state persecution to stand.
We are very disturbed that a Governor who went as far as visiting another country to pay and reward aliens who killed citizens of Nigeria under a contrived conspiracy of stopping further reprisal attacks and committed treason against the Federal Republic of Nigeria, now has the presence of mind to use Security personnel to harass critics of his government under the guise of moving against those spreading misinformation.
This is quite unfortunate and totally unacceptable from a man that exploited free speech to run riots against the last administration at the center, peddled falsehoods almost everyday, incited Nigerians against government with his social media presence and later came up with a fraudulent list of Nigerians marked for murder by the state. This is the same man that broke rules and crossed the red line in affront against the law and constitution, yet was not victimised.
We wish to place Nigerians on high alert, that this latest onslaught will not stop at Maikori. It is a long list of crack down on critics of the ruling party to foist autocratic rule on Nigeria and condemn the people to the terror of the state. The people of Nigeria are down, we must never allow the people to sink.
We must never allow this injury against Maikori to spread to others before we act and speak up. An injury to one is an injury to all and the only way we can secure our freedom is to fight against the oppression of others. We must also not allow revisionist, irredentists and dark agents masquerading as democrats to undermine human rights and rule of law.
Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution