The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives (the green chamber) has said the planned visit by the United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, to Nigeria is to address corruption, insecurity and human rights abuses under the Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari
The rep caucus urged Blinken to ask questions about abuse of state power and use of violence to suppress peaceful protesters, particularly activists of the #EndSARS movement and campaigners for self-determination in the South East.
The leader of the PDP caucus, Kingsley Chinda, in a statement on Wednesday, titled, ‘PDP Reps Caucus says Blinken’s visit to Consider Human Rights Abuses, Insecurity and Corruption…Visit to Address Government’s Failure to Curb Terrorists Attacks’,
Chinedu added that the opposition lawmakers welcomed the visit of the US top official to Nigeria.
The caucus noted that the visit was timely, adding, “It is our expectation that he the visitor would use his visit to address the growing human rights abuses, increasing threats to democracy, insecurity and corruption in Nigeria.
“Just this week, a Brigadier-General was killed by ISWAP and this is in addition to the countless numbers of soldiers, who have been killed or grievously injured with the weightless and worthless remark of getting to the root of the matter.
“Our country cannot afford the luxury of losing military officers to terrorists when it can seek strategic military and counter-insurgency assistance from the United States that has for many years built strategic and sustained military and intelligence frameworks for fighting terrorism.
“We note that the insistence of the Government of the United States that all strategic military, anti-terrorism and counter insurgency engagements must be in accord with the Leahy laws.”
The caucus further urged the US, through Blinken, to “impress on the Nigerian government, as an act of principle, to stay within the realm of prohibition by not deploying received military assistance against citizens, who embark on legitimate and constitutional agitation, including agitation for self-determination and secession, which are legitimate aspirations under our laws and treaties entered into by Nigeria.”
“Secretary Blinken should as a matter of urgency hold the Nigerian government to account for the wanton assaults on rights, abuse of state power, systematic use of state violence to suppress peaceful protesters, particularly activists of the #EndSARS movement and campaigners for self-determination, extrajudicial killings, intimidation of the judiciary; and declare to this government that abuses of human rights have consequences.”
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