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Muslim Group Asks SSS to Lift El Rufai’s House Arrest

Former Minister of FCT and APC chieftain Nasir El'Rufai

By Sunday Fase, Abuja

A Muslim group known as Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the alleged harassment of members of the opposition during Saturday’s Anambra governorship election.

Former Minister of FCT and APC chieftain Nasir El'Rufai

Former Minister of FCT and APC chieftain Nasir El’Rufai

The group in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday and made available to African Examiner urged the security agency to immediately release the former Minister of FCT and APC chieftain Nasir El’Rufai from the alleged house arrest.

It also called for the unconditional release of the APC election observers arrested in Imo state.

The statement was signed by the executive director of the group Prof. Ishaq Akintola.

His words:

“The gubernatorial election was held in Anambra yesterday with reports of irregularities, violence and intervention by security operatives.

“Election was cancelled in 65 wards. Men of the State Security Services (SSS) also allegedly put Mallam Nasir El-Rufai under house arrest while about 120 APC supporters who were on their way to Anambra were detained in Owerri, Imo State.

“These are very disturbing developments. Nigeria should be able to do better after several years of democratic experience. The cancellation of election in 65 wards which the opposition describes as its stronghold gives cause for serious concern.

“In the same vein, the curtailment of the movement of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, a key opposition figure, to a hotel room is an unacceptable breach of his fundamental right of movement, election or no election.

“The detention of several opposition members whom the opposition claims were election observers is symptomatic of arbitrary use of security agents. The intention of the authors of this action can only be antithetical to democratic principles.

“The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) calls for the immediate lifting of the house arrest imposed on El-Rufai and the unconditional release of the APC election observers. A situation where party agents and observers are coerced is bound to create suspicion and its attendant fallouts.

“We assert that a free and fair election is sine qua non in a true democracy. A level playing ground must be provided for all the parties contesting in elections.”

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