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Tell Buhari To Respect Human Rights In Nigeria – PDP Reps Tell Blinken

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The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has been urged to tell President Muhammadu Buhari to respect the human rights of Nigerians.

The leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives, Kingsley Chinda, made the appeal in a statement to newsmen on Wednesday.

Naija News reports that Blinken is expected to arrive in Abuja today to meet President Buhari to discuss security issues, cooperation on global health security, expanding energy access and revitalizing democracy.

Bliken is on a three-nation tour of Africa and is the highest-ranking US official to visit Nigeria since President Joe Biden came into power in January.

In the statement on behalf of other PDP lawmakers, Chinda asked Blinken to address issues of human rights violations allegedly committed by the Buhari administration.

He also asked the US official to impress on the Nigerian government to stop using fighter jets, gun machines and other military hardware against citizens who embark on legal protests and agitations.

According to him: “The caucus urged the government of the United States, through secretary 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 agitations, including agitations for self-determination and secession, which are legitimate aspirations under our laws and treaties entered into by Nigeria.

“Beyond all of this, and as strategic partners, with shared vision and future for peace, we are convinced that the shared vision and future are impossible without the United States showing more than a passing and curious interest on respect for human rights.

“The nexus between human rights and peace is beyond contest; sustainable development is only possible when human rights become the cornerstone of governance. Under this government, human rights abuses have become the spur of violent conflicts, halting economic progress, growth and development.

“Secretary Bliken 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, extra-judicial killings, intimidation of the judiciary; and declare to this government that abuses of human rights have consequences.”

The minority leader also expressed their displeasure over the killing of soldiers in the North by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.

Chinda asked the Nigerian government to seek strategic military and counter-insurgency assistance from the United States

He said: “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 United States that all strategic military, anti-terrorism and counter-insurgency engagements must be in accord with the Leahy laws.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.