Centre for Social and Economic Rights (CSER), a civil society organisation has come under attack over its renewed call for the arrest of Pastor Paul Enenche of Dunamis International Gospel Centre over his comment on the just concluded presidential election in Nigeria.
Recall that the group had on February 28 made a similar call over what it described as an inciting comment by the Dunamis pastor.
In its latest statement, CSER called for the arrest of Enenche and Sarah Omakwu of Family Worship Centre for what it tagged as “acts that threaten national security and our humanity.”
Responding, Global Network for Sustainable Development, GNSD, described the persistent calls for the arrest of Enenche by CSER as antithetical to democracy and freedom of speech.
Amb. Phil Roberts, the National Coordinator GNSD in a statement on Wednesday said the group was hired to silence the voice of reason “and render our nation a tyrannical and dictatorial enclave where citizens live in perpetual fear and bondage.”
It advised the group to stop further acts of public incitements against the person of Dr Paul Enenche, noting that their actions so far are tantamount to a gross abuse of his fundamental human right as a free citizen
The statement reads below;
“Our attention has been drawn to a provocative and inconsequential call by a certain faceless, clueless, misguided and self-acclaimed civil society group, Centre for Social and Economic Rights (CSER) for the arrest of Dr Paul Enenche and Pastor Sarah Omakwu over what they called inciting statements.
“We also realised that this same attention-seeking group had made same misplaced call exactly on the 28th of February 2023.
They are obviously renewing the call since their first attempt did not generate significant attention or reward from their supposed pay master.
“The fact that they remain insistent on their call for the arrest of Dr Paul Enenche in particular despite the fact that he is not the only one calling for electoral probity and justice, makes their motive questionable.
“Other renowned clerics from both Islamic and Christian faiths drew the attention of the government to the irregularities that characterised the recent elections, yet this bigoted, nugatory, and jerkwater group are bent on calling for the crucifixion of one man. They said he must not be treated as a sacred cow, so should the others be treated as sacred cows?
“The conduct of this group is antithetical to democracy and freedom of speech. They represent the worst enemy of the “Nigerian nation as they are out to sabotage the efforts of both the state and the citizens in building a more tolerant, progressive and inclusive society.
“These are some hired dogs barking to silence the voice of reason and render our nation a tyrannical and dictatorial enclave where citizens live in perpetual fear and bondage.
“One wonders if these elements masquerading as a civil society group understand what civil society advocacy stands for. How can you call yourself ‘civil’ while you are brazenly advocating for tyranny and dictatorship? How can you be advocating for a civil and civilized society while at the same time, be shamelessly calling for undemocratic, primitive and brutish use of force to stifle citizens’ freedom of speech as enshrined in the constitution? How can you be a centre for citizens’ rights while openly fighting to deprive them of their fundamental human rights?
“How can you address yourself as ‘civil’ while openly canvassing for illegitimate use of force by agents of the state against her citizens? How can you be fighting for and against citizens’ rights at the same time? This is nothing short of bareface hypocrisy and duplicity.
“This group, whatever they call themselves, need to be schooled in basic understanding of civic responsibilities and rights of citizens in a democratic setting. Whether or not they are aware of such rights while openly feigning ignorance of it, is very intriguing.
“Be it known to them and their ilks that we are moving forward as a people. We are advancing as a society and civilization. They cannot drive us backward in their brazen pursuit of filthy lucre. Nothing can make the well informed citizens of Nigeria subscribe to their cheap campaign of calumny against agents of positive change in our nation.
“They speak not for the nation, but for their gaping mouths and hungry bellies. They stand not for democracy but for autocracy and tyranny.
“They are a bunch of ignoble, decadent and unscrupulous moles hiding under the cover of civil society advocacy to scuttle the very civility, liberty and freedom that they are supposed to promote. They are nothing but a group of reprobate, retrograde, savage, miserable and wretched elements on a sole mission to cause disaffection, disunity and disharmony in our nation. They are cheap frauds and moral liabilities in civic space.
“They are, therefore, advised to stop further acts of public incitements against the person of Dr Paul Enenche. Their actions so far are tantamount to a gross abuse of his fundamental human right as a free citizen.
“They have no moral or legal basis to call for the arrest of a law-abiding, responsible and impactful citizen in free expression of his civic and political opinion as guaranteed by the constitution.
Any further incitement by them against his person would be taken as a deliberate and wilful provocation, aggression and assault. “We will employ every litigable means to make them pay for their thuggery and criminality in the name of civil society advocacy.”