No Democracy Flourishes Without Entrenched Rights – CUPP Tells Tinubu


The Coalition for United Political Parties (CUPP) has tasked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to understand that no democracy flourishes and becomes entrenched without all the rights as contained in the 1999 Constitution and Universal Declaration on Human Rights, including the right to free speech, assembly, and the right to peaceful protests observed and obey.

It also said Nigerians are beginning to reminisce what was shouted from rooftops and condemned by the then Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as clueless to be the golden years of Nigerian democracy and economy.

This was as the CUPP expressed concern over the utterances of President Tinubu at the commissioning of the Red Line Railway Project in Lagos wherein he lashed out at the Nigerian Labour Congress for daring to call on Nigerian workers to protest against the inhuman condition they have found themselves.

It warned against the democratic space being constricted which it noted was essentially what the utterances of Tinubu portrayed thus, demanded that it should be expanded to accommodate all different and differing opinions, including the right to dissent.

CUPP noted that Nigerians have been passing through the valley of shadow of death, reduced to mere walking and hopeless skeletons as a result of hunger and other various forms of hardships occasioned by the adverse policies of the government.

It said that the policies include the removal of whatever that was left of the fuel subsidy as at May 29, 2023, the floating of the naira which has reduced the value closer to that of Zimbabwean dollar, ever increasing prices of foodstuffs that has rendered the minimum wage of a worker almost useless that its purchasing power can only buy less than half a bag of locally produced rice, high cost of transportation, insecurity arising from both unemployment and frustration etc.

The CUPP in a statement by its National Secretary, Ameh Peter, stated that Nigerians have never had it so bad, stressing that the circumstances that led to the Arab spring were not as bad as the present situation in the country.

According to the CUPP; “Feeding which is almost given has suddenly become an abstract concept to many Nigerian homes, and President Tinubu expects the labour movement which represents the majority of the downtrodden and underprivileged in our country to keep quiet and look the other way while those at the helm of affairs are living larger than life as if all was well.

“We in CUPP now believe in the adage that says, ‘he who kills by the sword will never allow a man with a sword to ever come close to him, even by a country mile’.

“We remember how unrelenting President Tinubu as both ACN and APC leader was pilloring the then PDP led government with his unceasing criticisms of their policies, which were more humane and in nowhere asphyxiating as the immediate past and present APC administrations.

“Opposition parties and Nigerian Labour Congress were allowed to flourish without let or hindrance, the economy was booming and Nigeria was then rated as the biggest and fastest growing economy in Africa.

“Foodstuffs were readily available and affordable to average and struggling Nigerian households. Naira was under two hundred naira to the dollar at both the official and unofficial markets, and to cap it all, rights to form assembly and protest were unfettered and guaranteed.

“When in 2012, the then President Jonathan attempted to do away with fuel subsidy, which the APC under President Buhari’s government rechristened under-recovery, was it not President Tinubu and the other then opposition stalwarts that shut down Nigeria, rebuking then President Jonathan for wanting to commit what then former Governor Tinubu called a “breach of social contract with Nigerians,” it said.

The CUPP said that it found it disturbing that an opposition leader who was allowed unfettered access to all the rights that accrue to all Nigerians under the Nigerian Constitution, and by reason of being humans, including the right to form and hold lawful assembly by the government in power before 2015.

It said that the same former opposition is busy harassing and intimidating the Nigerian Labour Congress for calling out the government to see through the agreements it entered into with the Labour Movement on behalf of innocent and hardworking Nigerians who are at the receiving end of its policies that were not well thought out before their commencement and execution.

It therefore called on the government of President Tinubu to thread softly, commence the immediate fulfilment of the agreements it entered into with the Labour Congress to alleviate the suffering Nigerian workers are passing through, rather than the use intimidation to silence the Labour Congress and by extension Nigerians from demanding for good governance which is rightfully theirs.

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