Prof Obioma Iheduru, former Vice Chancellor of Madonna University and immediate past Chairman of Imo State Universal Basic Education Board, IMSUBEB, has strongly condemned Governor, Hope Uzodinma’s administration stoppage of peaceful political protests in the State ,saying it’s very undemocratic and wrong to do so.
Iheduru who promptly reacted to the governor’s pronouncement on Monday while fielding question from newsmen in Owerri said the tough speaking governor and his advisers have no right or authority to make such fiat, proclamation or decree.
The erudite scholar who is also a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party in Imo described the new governor’s stoppage of peaceful political protests in the state as part of his effort to create fear in the minds of the members of the PDP and other opposition parties in Imo State.
According to him, “It is wrong for Gov Uzodinma ,a two term senator to say so. If Gov Uzodinma has democratic credentials like he claimed he should have known that protest is a fundamental part of democratic process. A government elected by the people should not derogate such right”
“Political protest is a means of political participation especially when political access is blocked, the people will have no choice but to embark on political protest to make their voices heard.”
Ikeduru said,” placing a ban on peaceful political protests against Supreme Court judgment that ousted former Governor Emeka Ihedioha out of power only shows Gov Uzodinma’s penchant for the disrespect to the rule of law, freedom of association and expression as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.”
He said those who wrote section 40 of the 1999 constitution as amended weren’t stupid, noting that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provided for a peaceful assembly and association.
“When people are offended they have the right to protest and sue for redress and the only way to express their grievances is to stage a Peaceful protest” he said.”
Chapter 5 of Nigeria constitution encompasses that the people have the right to protest. In Eastern Europe you see permanent protest that sometimes last until government succumbed. We should respect rudiments of democracy and it’s unfortunate that till now none of his aides have denied it.