The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of increasingly becoming intolerant of criticisms and contrary opinions, and undemocratic in its actions.
PANDEF National Secretary, Dr. Alfred Mulade, said the arrest of Mr. Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Services (DSS) was unacceptable.
In the same vein, the General Overseer, Evangelical Outreach Ministry International, Prophet Isa El-Buba, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to show some level of tolerance to criticisms and imbibe democratic tenets, which promote freedom of speech and expression.
El-Buba, who spoke while addressing newsmen in Jos, Plateau State, yesterday, over the state of the nation, especially the arrest of Sowore, said the arrest simply depicted that the administration was intolerant of criticisms by the oppositions based on the realities of situations in the country.
According to him, “we cannot continue to pretend that all is well when security and economic situation in the country is bad. We cannot continue to build our nation on falsehood. If the government had responded to the issues of banditry and kidnapping the way it responded to the protest and arrest of Sowore, I think the country would have reduced these criminalities to the barest minimum.”
The group, which equally condemned the actions of the police for describing the planned protests as treasonable felony and acts of terrorism, wondered how protests against insecurity, suffering and hardship in the country occasioned by misrule, amount to treasonable felony.
“Meanwhile, those who are actually threatening the unity and stability of the country by killing and maiming innocent Nigerians daily are freely moving around in the country,” it said.
The cleric further stated that if the government had obeyed the earlier court judgment that the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife should be granted bail, the protest that rocked Abuja where a senior police officer died would have not occurred.
He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to release Sowore and those arrested in Lagos and Abuja in the course of the protests and tackle insecurity and other issues.