Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) on Monday took a swipe at the Federal Government over the continued detention of the detained Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress,(ACC) Omoyele Sowore, even as it described the waterways bill sent to the legislature as a ploy to make the states redundant.
In a statement by the Publicity Secretary of the group, Yinka Oguntimehin, the OPC said the prolonged detention and government’s refusal to obey court order is nothing but lawlessness.
“It is obvious that the Federal Government is playing politics with Sowore’s detention. Where on earth did a democratically elected president flout the law and refused court orders? The federal government is treating the judiciary with contempt and it is sad.
“With democracy under President Muhammadu Buhari, the numbers of federal government detainees are growing by the day. Before the new judgment, there had been an existing court order for his release, yet the FG didn’t blink an eye on the issue and Nigerians have been reacting, because the situation is affecting the image of the country in the international world.
“We cannot continue to fold our arms and behave as if nothing is wrong. If the Federal Government continues this way, that means we are heading towards becoming a lawless nation and that portends a grave danger to the nation.”
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, in a ruling on Monday had ordered that Sowore be remanded in custody until Friday, October 4.
The justice gave the order after the Department of State Services (DSS) rearraigned Sowore before another Federal High Court.
The DSS had earlier refused to release Sowore after another competent Court had ordered the release of the publisher of Sahara Reporters.
In her interjection, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, said she will not entertain an oral application for bail. She advised the defence to within a short period file an application for bail for both defendants.
“With the new ruling, it is obvious that the FG is using the institution and the paraphernalia of office of the presidency to suppress human rights and cow oppositions. And the world is watching as we continually abuse other people’s rights at will,” he said.
Meanwhile, the OPC Publicity Scribe, has, also expressed dismay at the waterways bill sent to the legislature, saying the Federal Government is doing everything within its powers to overwhelm the states and make them redundant.
“It is a ploy to take what nature has willingly bestowed on the states from them. We wanted restructuring, we want devolution of powers, yet the FG is becoming more powerful everyday with its centralistic government.”
He stressed that the proponents of Federalism as it is practised in Nigeria do not believe in the Federal Government having overwhelming powers at the expense of the states and the local governments. So, of what interest is the waterways bill to the federal legislature, he asked.
The new development, he said, shows that “the federal government is deeply interested in the bill. Meanwhile, the 8th Assembly rejected it when it was first presented. So, the 9th Assembly must look deeply into the bill, because as the representatives of the people, the wishes of Nigerians must prevail at all times,” he insisted.