( Washington, DC ) – The Buhari administration is arresting, imprisoning, and torturing members of the country’s peaceful political opposition, a senior member of the National Assembly said last month in a series of private, off-record meetings with senior US officials, Policy-Makers, think-tanks and human rights representatives in Washington.
Nigeria’s opposition and supporters are under attack said the top Senator in transcript obtained by Per Second News Tuesday.
” The time for mere statements of concern has long passed, he said to bemused U.S officials in a downtown office of a bi-partisan Capitol Hill lobbyist firm.
” Now is when Nigeria’s international partners, including the U.S and E.U, should send President Muhammadu Buhari a clear message: repression will no longer be cost-free, he stated.
The senior Nigerian lawmaker asked the U.S policymakers at the meeting to put president Buhari’s ‘questionable economic policies and anti-corruption fight under great scrutiny’.
He alleged that the conduct of the oil and gas industry as headed by President Buhari is less transparent. He also revealed plans by some Diaspora based organizations to mobilize protest against the Buhari government, security agencies and some administration officials in Washington, New-York and London.
Information gathered by Per Second News indicate that this is the third meeting attended by leaders from Nigeria with US officials within the last four months.
It is believed that a notable former Military leader and some Middle-Belt leaders kickstarted the series of meetings in April to inform U.S authorities about the herdsmen killings in Nigeria.
Meetings and public speaking functions has been held in various U.S agencies to talk about ‘inaction by the federal government and the Military in the wake of herdsmen/farmers clashes by the leaders, including a former Nigerian president. It is believed that notable organizations like the Open Doors, Westminster Institute has pledged support to assist.
In a CBN news interview shown on live TV in many cities in the U.S, Nigerian born attorney Emmanuel Ogebe, called on the U.S to appoint a special envoy to investigate allegations against the Buhari administration.
” Nigeria is now the deadliest place in the world to be a Christian,” explained Ogebe.
” What we have is a genocide, he said.
While the U.S, European Union, and other international actors have expressed concern about some aspect of the alleged crackdown on opposition in Nigeria, the international response has been largely muted.
A close friend and business associate of a former Nigerian president who has attended and arranged most of the meetings said under the condition of anonymity, that ” these actors should publicly and privately press the Buhari government to end its crackdown on political opposition parties and enact targeted measures, including visa ban against the administration officials if there is no improvement.
He said they should further use the UN Human Rights Council to raise strong concerns on the crackdown, putting authorities on notice that further measures could be taken in case the situation continues to worsen.
The close ally of the former president who was visible in the Villa during the tenure of the Nigerian leader, is widely seen as the architect of the movement in Washington.
Information at the disposal of this newspaper revealed that the group is currently spearheading a push against the Buhari administration in the West with a rebranded non-profit organization, which according to its mission, ” promotes informed debate about policies and positions that most effectively end the scourge of political victimization across the globe.”
He also revealed that they are in talks with organizations like the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies(FDD), a Washington think-tank, to escalate the Nigerian issue.
Officials in Abuja, always maintained that President Buhari has publicly condemned the violence at every turn.
” He is prepared to permit every possible step that can lead to the stoppage of the killings, said a presidency statement recently. ” It is therefore unfair and unkind for anyone to keep insinuating that the president is condoning the spate of killings in Benue and other trouble spots.”
In a Democracy Day message to the Nigerian government in May, ambassadors of over 25 countries, including the U.S, sent a letter to the federal government.
” Democracy is not only about the voting process. It also requires a strong and ongoing commitment from political actors to uphold the democratic ideal.
” We have noted with concern recent reports of violence, intimidation and corruption, both within parties and between parties, said a statement sent to Per Second News and signed by ambassadors of the European Union, Germany, France, UnitedKingdom, UnitedStates, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, CzechRepublic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, andSweden.
” We take advantage of this national celebration of democracy to urge all political parties to maintain Nigerian and international norms and support a credible process. It is the fundamental right of the Nigerian people to freely express their will in the forthcoming elections, the envoys said.
President Donald Trump has vowed to bring an end to ” vicious and violent” crisis in Africa.
At a press briefing on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels last Thursday. Trump said his administration was committed to ensure peace in the world, and especially in Africa.
” If you saw some of the things that I see through intelligence what is going on in Africa, it is so sad, it is so vicious and violent and we want peace, we want peace for Africa,” Trump told a room full of European leaders.
” Africa right now has got problems that few people will even understand,” Trump told journalists following a question about US efforts in North Africa.
The ruling APC is facing an opposition that, after 3 years in the wilderness, is united against the government’s re-election bid.