A human rights group, Concerned Nigerians for the Protection of Human Rights and Rule of Law Initiative, has called on the Nigerian government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia.
The group said the call was necessitated by the history of intimidation of dissidents and activists who have exposed corruption and human rights violations perpetrated by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
A statement by the Convener of the group, Deji Adeyanju on Sunday said the Nigerian civic space has become hostile such that dissidents are being targeted by those in government for speaking truth to power.
The statement read, "Concerned Nigerians for the Protection of Human Rights and Rule of Law Initiative has called on the Nigerian authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to the sudden death of dissident, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia.
"Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, 64, a development economist, former deputy governor of Nigeria’s apex bank and rights activist that advocated for freedom and human rights for ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, died after a brief illness in Abuja on Sunday.
“We call on the Nigerian authorities to ensure that no foul play was involved in the death of Dr. Obadiah Mailafia. He had been violently targeted by some persons averse to his positions on how ethnic minorities in Northern Nigeria are being treated.”
The group also alleged that Nigerians who work to expose the massive human rights violations and corruption in Buhari’s administration are always the target of the oppressive regime.
“The Nigerian civic space is very hostile and dissidents are constantly being targeted by those in government.”
“Finally, we call on the authorities to launch an inquest into the death of Dr. Obadiah and we pray Almighty God to grant the late human rights activist, eternal repose.”