From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Residents of Nasarawa State have lamented the alleged arrest of two youths for declaring their support for the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Dr. David Ombugadu.
The residents who are members of the Akwanga Youth Vanguard (AYV), condemned the detention of two employees of the Kini Country Home and Resort in the Akwanga Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
In a statement issued on Thursday by the AYV Public Relations Officer (PRO), the group the two staff of the resort were arrested following an order by the state government for openly supporting the PDP candidate.
The statement reads, “The decision to order the arrest of two staff members of Kini Resort for merely expressing their political support for Dr. Ombugadu is a blatant violation of the fundamental democratic principles and human rights of these people.
“Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy. It is the right of every citizen to express their political preferences and opinions without fear of persecution or reprisals. The arrest of these individuals for exercising their democratic rights is not only unjust but also an affront to the democratic values that we hold dear and are propagating as members of the society.
“We strongly condemn this heavy-handedness by the Nasarawa State Government and call for the immediate release of the arrested hotel staff. It is the duty of the government to protect the rights of its citizens, including their right to express political opinions freely and without fear of intimidation.
“This incident underscores the importance of upholding the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. It is a wake-up call for all stakeholders in Nasarawa State to recognise the importance of fostering a political environment that respects diversity of opinion and protects the rights of its citizens.
“Just yesterday, in an inchoate and obtuse briefing, the Nasarawa APC came down hard on some elders of the PDP for admonishing Governor Sule over his divisive rhetorics. The resort to lawlessness, hauling of insults, arrests, and the abuse of power by those controlling the levers of government in our state will be resisted through all lawful means available.
“May we hasten to remind the Nasarawa State Government that our state is being governed under a democratic rule where the rights of citizens to freely express themselves is guaranteed by our constitution, hence we will kick against any move by the AA Sule-led administration to silence anyone brutally in the wake of the decision of the Election Tribunal, which sacked the Governor from office.”
The statement therefore called on the state government to respect the rights of its citizens, uphold democratic principles, and allow for a free and fair political discourse for the interest of the people of the state.