Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed dismay over what he sees as the present administration’s use of the instrumentality of the state to persecute political opponents.
Speaking in the case of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who has been once again dragged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Atiku observed that the former Kwara State Governor is the most investigated political figure.
In a statement titled, “Silence in the face of tyranny is acquiescence,” personally signed by him, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in February’s election, observed that the revival of previous cases against the Director General of the PDP presidential campaign organization suggests that rather than mere prosecution, Saraki’s case has become persecution.
The statement read: “I stand against corruption in government, which was why my office personally facilitated the take-off of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, after it was created by then President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“However, there is a huge difference between prosecution and persecution. I am all for prosecuting the corrupt, but I believe it is wrong to use the instruments of state to persecute political opponent.
“Dr Bukola Abubakar Saraki, the immediate past Senate President, is one of the most investigated politicians in Nigeria. He has been investigated and prosecuted all the way to the Supreme Court and has prevailed against his accusers. It was expected that that should have been the end of the matter.
“However, the revival of previously investigated cases and the fact that Dr Saraki was politically opposed to the administration of General Muhammadu Buhari seems to give strong grounds for objective bystanders to conclude that his current travails have gone beyond prosecution and are now tending towards persecution.
“The laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are made for all and we fought for democracy so that the powers of the state would not be used to suborn tyranny and oppression.
“In the instance, I urge Dr Bukola Saraki to stand firm and take solace in the fact that Nigerians still hold the constitution higher than any other authority.
“I urge all Nigerians, and especially those tasked with upholding the constitution and the laws of the land, to note that silence in the face of oppression is akin to acquiescence. I, Atiku Abubakar, will always stand up for the constitution and Nigeria.”