Nigerian presidential candidate of the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari and vice-presidential candidate Yemi Osinbajo attend a campaign rally on January 19, 2015 in Kaduna. Buhari will face President Goodluck Jonathan ~ CHRIS STEIN
Lagos - A Pro-Muslim human rights organisation has demanded the immediate release of opposition leaders and supporters of the main opposition.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) said the allegations of harassment of the All Progressives Congress (APC) personnel had put a dent in the conducting of free and fair elections.
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There is growing concern regarding the conduct of Nigeria's 2015 general elections as allegations of arrest and harassment of leaders
and members of the main opposition party rent the air, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC Director, said.
He said the harassment flew in the face of two separate Abuja Peace Accords signed earlier by President Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari, the leaders of the country¹s two main parties.
Akintola said MURIC found the reports very distasteful.
He said harassment, intimidation and coercion of the opposition at this crucial period were capable of causing panic and igniting unrest.
He said eligible voters might also be scared away thereby defeating both the letter and spirit of one-man-one-vote.
Such actions stand in contradistinction to the peace accords entered into by the political parties, said Akintola.
The implication here is that Nigerian security agencies are compromising. They are undermining a free, fair and peaceful election. There is no gainsaying the fact that summoning candidates and party leaders on the eve of elections can be destabilizing.
This, he said, gave the ruling party undue advantage. It is the root of rigging.
This is highly unethical of the security agencies. It is quite unhealthy for our nascent democracy for the security agencies to be
seen deliberately stunting the growth of democracy.
He thus demanded the immediate release of all political detainees of the last 48 hours.
We also charge the IG (Inspector General of Police) to use his good offices to stop further intimidation and arrest of political opponents. The International Criminal Court is advised to beam its searchlight for culprits of election violence on Nigerian security agencies.
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