In a statement in Port Harcourt on Monday, the coalition traced the origin of the threats to its recent legitimate notice of a One Day Defending Democracy Rally Against Impunity and Political Violence event.
It said various threats have come through phone calls, direct personal attacks and publications through the media on the Chair of NDCSC, Anyakwee Nsirimovu, as well as the prominent Human Rights Defenders who were invited to address the peaceful gathering following the political crisis that has engulfed the state.
“The threats have been fronted by faceless so-called militant groups, letter-headed based sectional organizations and representatives of the factional Peoples Democratic Party Chapter in the state, using all manners of threats and blackmail strategies to stop the rally from holding,” the statement said.
The coalition asserted that it will not succumb to the intimidation, which it described as the hallmark of tyrannical demagogues bent on sliding democratic progress in the state.
“We nevertheless implore the Community of Democrats to hold these characters responsible for any untoward act against democrats gathering in Port Harcourt to speak truth to power,” it said, calling on the global community to see what is happening in Rivers State as a well-designed affront to minimum standards of civilized behaviour as represented by known global principles of democracy and human freedom.
NDCSC warned that the day charlatans are allowed to destroy the ideals and principles of freedom of association, assembly, thought and expression, will mean the end of democracy, and the reign of anarchy and chaos.
The coalition called for its alert to be taken most seriously in view of the state of insecurity in Rivers State and the illicit possession of the instrument of violence and fear by these elements, questioning what is left of democracy and respect for human rights in a state where there are only men and women whose strength lies upon violence and political killings rather than on principled issues and debate.
“We remind colleagues at both national and international levels that this democracy has been caged by few violent men and women, and needs to be saved now,” NDCSC said. “The threats facing us are stark and dreadful and inescapable, if violence is deemed as best practice in a democracy and supported and tolerated by the highest political authority.”