Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday urged US President Joe Biden to impose strict sanctions on leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and officials of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration allegedly involved in corruption, terrorism and undermining democracy.
The party also commended Biden for lifting the immigration visa restrictions on regular Nigerians.
It, however, lamented the recent disasters in some states, saying that the incidents call for the concern of all Nigerians.
The PDP called on Biden to freeze the assets of errant APC leaders and officials in the United States while ensuring that the lifting of visa ban does not extend to such individuals.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, urged Biden to look into the records, especially the report of the Department of State and note the litany of infractions on Nigeria’s polity by APC leaders and officials of the Buhari administration.
“President Biden is invited to act on the report of the Department of State detailing cases of human rights abuse, arbitrary and extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests, detention, torture, shooting and killing of voters, massacring of peaceful protesters as witnessed in the EndSARS protests as well as other atrocious crime against humanity under the Buhari-led APC administration, which were also reported by the Amnesty International (AI) and Transparency International (TI),” it said.
PDP also urged Biden to save Nigeria’s democracy by enforcing sanctions on APC leaders and their agents in Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, and the judiciary, who openly undermined Nigeria’s democracy by manipulating elections, deploying thugs and security operatives to unleash violence to rig elections in Kano, Ondo, Kaduna, Katsina, Ekiti, Niger, Plateau, Rivers and Kogi states, among others.
The PDP said that in Kogi, security agents were allegedly deployed to kill voters, cart away ballot boxes while police helicopter fired tear gas on innocent Nigerians.
It alleged that an innocent woman was burnt in Kogi, while election results were manipulated to declare themselves winners.
“Such sanctions should be extended to all individuals who participated or benefited in the undermining of the Imo State governorship election at the Supreme Court, where a person, who was not a candidate in the election was suddenly declared winner, after which brute force was used to subdue the people.
“Our party condemns the invasion of the US Capitol and welcome the prompt arrest of culprits. In that vein, we urge President Biden to announce strong sanctions against those who invaded our courts as well as the chambers of our Senate where they disrupted parliamentary session and carted away the mace,” the PDP said.
According to the party, it is sickening that the culprit who ought to be in jail for leading the invasion of the Nigerian Senate chamber is one of the presiding officers.
PDP urged Biden to assist the country in the recovery of over N15 trillion allegedly stolen by APC leaders, including the N9.6 trillion detailed in the leaked NNPC report as well as the over N6 trillion stolen in various ministries, agencies, and departments of government under the Buhari administration.
“President Biden is also called upon to impress it on President Buhari to vanquish terrorists, bandits and kidnappers ravaging our nation by rejigging our security architecture and replacing his wearied service chiefs with more competent hands.
“President Biden should also impress it on President Buhari to end the corruption in his government, stop the looting spree bedeviling his administration and direct his party and its leaders to get ready to peacefully exit the stage in 2023, through a credible and fair election, having failed on all fronts,” it added.
PDP also lamented the disasters across some states, especially the recent fire disaster at the Sokoto Central Market; the Kugbo, Abuja furniture inferno; the Friday’s gas explosion in Agbor, Delta; the gas explosion at Rumuodumanya, Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Saturday as well as other avoidable tragedies in the recent times.
The PDP, in another statement by Ologbondiyan, bemoaned the Sokoto market incident, describing it as a national tragedy, given the strategic place the market occupies in the economy of the nation as a commercial hub for both national and international trade activities.
The party also expressed shock over the gas plant explosion in Agbor, Delta State, which led to the death of people, including children and the hospitalisation of others.
The PDP also expressed concern over the gas plant explosion at Rumuodumanya, Obio Akpor LGA in Rivers State.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of these disasters for their losses, especially the bereaved, who are left with the excruciating pain of losing their loved ones,” it stated.
The PDP, however, commended the intervention of governors elected on the platform of the party for taking immediate steps to mitigate the sufferings of the victims.
The party also commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for coming to the aid of the victims of the Agbor explosion, especially in guaranteeing medical treatment for the hospitalised.
“Our party also commends the Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, for his quick intervention in the Sokoto Market inferno”, the party said.
The PDP also commiserated with the victims of the Sokoto, Agbor, Kugbo and Rumuodumanya disasters and urged the federal government to not only provide succour for the victims but to also take steps to equip the disaster management agencies for improved emergency response as well as measures to forestall such disasters in the future.