Return To The Trenches To Salvage Democracy, Says Falana

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has called on those he described as democratic forces to return to the trenches in order to salvage the nation’s democracy.

Falana’s call in a statement on Sunday, was against the backdrop of “the ongoing politicisation of the security forces, the unprecedented wave of official corruption and the subversion of democratic institutions by the Federal Government.”

Falana said, “In spite of the threat of terrorist and other nihilist groups to balkanise the country, I strongly believe that the rickety democratic process can still be salvaged by all the genuine democratic forces who led the Nigerian people to fight against unending military rule and who equally defeated the cabal that attempted to take advantage of President Umaru Yaradua’s ill-health to seize power from the then Acting President, Dr. Jonathan.

“As time is not on our side the forces of democracy ought to return to the trenches now to halt the imposion of fascism on the nation by the President Goodluck Jonathan Administration.”

He cited as one of the grave instances of incidents of politisation of security forces the invasion of the National Assembly by the police last week, which he said was part of plots to stage a coup against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal.

He added, “In a reckless display of partisanship the police ensured that the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha and a few other legislators were not subjected to any form of harassment.

“Meanwhile, the Presidency and the police have turned round to blame the Speaker and his colleagues for assaulting security operatives who were discharging their “lawful duties” at the National Assembly complex.”

He lamented that as security forces were being used to disrupt the proceedings of the National Assembly, President Jonathan was also prevented by a former militant, Mr. Government Tompolo, from attending the inauguration ceremony of the $16bn EPZ project n Warri, Delta State last week.

Falana added, “Thus, through sheer negligence and official impunity on the part of the Federal Government the country has become a failed State where security forces are competing with criminal gangs in the wanton infringements of the civil liberties of law abiding citizens.

“Like the terrorists who attack communities while ill-equipped soldiers vamoose, armed thugs are allowed to threaten the life of the President of the Republic without any reaction from the Police.

“But unlike terrorists who abduct school girls in the night, militants kidnap journalists, lawyers and others during the day. Unlike coup plotters who overthrow legitimate governments at night security forces collude with anti-democratic forces in broad daylight to remove elected leaders of legislative houses. “Having been enriched by the State and allowed to acquire weapons without any license some ex-militants have set up armed gangs for the 2015 general election.”

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