Obi slams ‘demeaning’ arrest of Abure

LABOUR Party presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, has faulted the arrest of his party’s national chairman, Julius Abure, in Edo state, labeling the action as ‘demeaning and unequivocally intolerable’.

Obi, while condemning the action via his X handle earlier today, Thursday, February 22, emphasised the importance of upholding political oppositions’ rights in the country.

The former Anambra state governor noted that such actions epitomised the pinnacle of misconduct and contributed significantly to the perception of the country as one afflicted by lawlessness.


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On Wednesday, Thursday 22, the Police in Edo state, arrested Abure in Benin, the Edo State capital, following the allegations of attempted murder levelled against him by the party’s youth leader, Eragbe Anselm Amphimia.

A video by Arise Television showed how men in police uniforms manhandled and dragged Abure into a police van after he had been made to sit on the floor. 

While Abure was released hours after the arrest, many concerned Nigerians, including Obi, have faulted the arrest and urged the police to always behave civilly.

“Like many Nigerians, I observed the distasteful national television news reports detailing the humiliating arrest of the national chairman of the Labour Party, Barrister Julius Abure, earlier today in Benin City, Edo State.

“Throughout my roles as a private individual, public figure, governor, and presidential candidate, I consistently advocated for the paramount importance of upholding the rule of law in any sane society.






     

     

    “I firmly believe that, as citizens, we are all duty-bound irrespective of our status in society to respond to invitations from properly constituted authority. My stance on this matter remains unwavering but does not explain watching the distressing image of our national chairman lying on the ground in the name of arrest. This act is undesirable , demeaning and unequivocally intolerable and must be condemned by any decent and civilized mind within the context of our present civic landscape in Nigeria,” he said.

    While highlighting the need to allow for constitutional authorities to execute statutory functions, he also emphasised that the conduct displayed by the police must be diligently tackled to maintain the tenets of justice and honour the dignity of every individual in the society.

    He also opined that political parties need to be accorded due respect, noting they are institutions of democratic statehood.

    “It is imperative to reiterate that no pretext or subterfuge should be employed to stifle Nigeria’s political opposition. Therefore, I urge that he should be granted bail based on his status while the investigation into his alleged offence continues,” he added.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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