Abuja- Nigeria's main opposition party condemned the recent proscription of local terrorist groups, Boko Haram and Ansaru, by President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a statement, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said the proscription violated the country’s constitution.
According to the party, the proscription stifles the press and tampers with the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
National Publicity Secretary of ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the order also makes it easy for an “increasingly intolerant” government to clamp down on the opposition.
‘’Against the background of insinuations in government circles, let us be clear that we do not condone the activities of these sects that have killed and maimed innocent Nigerians and turned a section of the country into a battle field.
"Terrorism is condemnable, and no responsible government will allow any group, no matter its name, grievances or ideology, to carry out terrorist acts unchecked,” Mohammed said.
He added however, “But we believe that whatever action government takes – even in an emergency – must pass the constitutional test, especially since the relevant sections of the Constitution have not been suspended.”
The ACN urged the Government to clarify “the knotty and vague areas” of the open-ended order, that may end up punishing journalists and infringing on the civil liberties of the citizens more than it will curtail the activities of sects.
It said the legislation hindered operations of a free press.
ACN said the government must take a cue from what happens in other countries, especially in the United States, which are also battling terrorism.
Jonathan made the proscription last week to curb terrorist activities that have characterised some northern parts of Africa’s most populous nation.
– CAJ News