Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar has described the travel ban placed on 50 prominent Nigerians by the Federal Government as an invitation to anarchy. Atiku said the travel ban was not only a faulty interpretation of the constitution, but betrayed the dictatorial and authoritarian mindset of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. In a statement by his media office, the former vice president noted that while he abhors any act of criminality, financially or otherwise, the rule of law should be the guide at all times or society would descend to anarchy.
“Thus, we find it most undemocratic that in a nation governed by the rule of law, a president who swore an oath to abide by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, does this,” he said. According to him, the 50 individuals might be critics and opponents of the Buhari administration. “This is nothing short of intimidation ahead of the 2019 elections,” Atiku said, noting that this was what the Buhari administration did in Osun where it froze the accounts of the Adeleke family and clandestinely paid N16.7 billion to the Osun State government. “To show how clueless this administration is, it included late former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike as number 30 on its travel ban list. “The question Nigerians should ask is this: can an administration that is unable to distinguish be tween the living and the dead bring life to Nigeria’s economy? “The Nigerian Constitution guarantees every Nigerian citizen freedom of movement and freedom of association.
This constitutional right cannot be taken away except by a court order,” he added. He stated that if the Buhari administration wants to curtail the rights of Nigerians, he should go to court and obtain a court order. “Anything short of this is unconstitutional and extrajudicial. “This sudden dictatorial act brings to mind President Buhari’s comments for which he was condemned by the international community and by the generality of Nigerians.
“The Nigerian Constitution guarantees every Nigerian citizen freedom of movement and freedom of association. This constitutional right cannot be taken away except by a court order,” the former vice president said. He recalled that President Buhari, at the annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association on August 26, 2018, noted that “where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favour of the greater good of society.”
He said the travel ban is a throwback to Buhari’s evil Decree Number Two of 1984. Atiku noted that under the Buhari administration, Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented capital flight out of the nation, regretting that Nigeria was not even listed amongst the top 10 recipients of Foreign Direct Investment n Africa.
“Funny enough, the Buhari administration was unable to stop Abdulrasheed Maina, from leaving the country after he was illegally brought back by them and reinstated to the federal service with double promotion. “It is precisely this type of draconian orders that have chased investors away from Nigeria and it is precisely why Nigerians will chase this recession-friendly government away from power on February 16, 2019, so we can begin the job of ‘Getting Nigeria Working Again’,” Atiku demanded.