Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, cautioned the All Progressives Congress (APC) against using security agencies to silence members of the opposition parties.
Atiku, via a statement posted on X, said dissenting voices are crucial for democracy and good governance.
“The ruling APC must refrain from any attempts to use our security agencies to harass or illegally detain any member or voice of the political opposition — and this call is not here limited to only members of my political party, but indeed all opposition voices including the many individuals across the internet who speak up only to seek a better country,” the former vice president posted.
The 2023 candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who did not cite any particular case of security agencies silencing opposition, said, “recent revelations suggesting potential suppression of voices and trumped-up allegations against opposition figures are deeply troubling.”
According to him, a vibrant democracy flourishes not when dissent is silenced but “when it is listened to, even if it makes those in authority uncomfortable.”
“The bedrock of any thriving democratic society is its ability to protect and respect contrarian viewpoints. Such viewpoints ensure that governance remains transparent and that power is not concentrated in the hands of a few.
“Arresting or silencing members of the opposition based on contrived charges is not only an affront to the principles of democracy but also a grave injustice to the very people who rely on the system for representation and justice.
“The government must avoid the temptation of conceding to the agenda of anti-democratic forces.
“The essence of democracy is not about comfort for those in power but about ensuring justice, liberty, and equality for all.
“Let us, as Nigerians, unite in upholding these principles and ensuring that every voice, no matter how contrary, is allowed its rightful place in the discourse,” he added.
While urging Nigerians not to be cowed into silence, Abubakar said he would continue to exert his effort to promote democracy in the country.
Abubakar and the PDP are currently contesting the outcome of the presidential election at the supreme court having lost at the tribunal to Bola Tinubu who was affirmed as the winner of the February 25 poll.