…condemns withdrawal of Zamfara Guber candidate’s security personnel
John Alechenu, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party has demanded for the immediate arrest and prosecution of all those behind the orchestrated attacks on its Presidential Campaign rallies in Kaduna, Borno and Gombe States.
While commending the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Mongono (Retd), over his recent declaration of war against political thuggery, the party appealed to him ensure those behind these attacks are brought to justice.
Spokesperson of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization, Kola Ologbondiyan said this in Abuja, on Friday.
He urged, “the National Security Adviser (NSA), General Mohammed Monguno, to further reassure Nigerians in the battle against political thuggery by intervening to ensure that those who attacked our rallies in Kaduna, Borno and Gombe are brought to justice.
“Our Campaign commends the NSA for his stance against state governors as well as politically intolerant politicians who engage in mobilizing thugs to attack the campaigns of rival political parties as witnessed in the attack of the PDP Presidential campaign rallies in Kaduna, Borno and Gombe States.
“The Atiku/Okowa Campaign holds that bringing those who attacked our rallies in Kaduna, Borno and Gombe to book will reassure Nigerians and serve as very strong deterrent to perpetrators of electoral violence and their backers.”
Ologbondiyan further said, “Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign had been at the receiving end of violators in spite of the decent campaigns of Atiku.
“It is therefore imperative to state that unless those responsible for the violence against our campaigns and supporters are made to face justice, even the warning by the NSA will not be taken seriously by the perpetrators.
“Our Campaign however urges Nigerians to remain focused and undeterred in their resolve to vote in Atiku Abubakar as the next President of our country so that he can commence the onerous task of rebuilding our nation from the misrule of the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
Speaking in a similar vein at a Press Conference also in Abuja, on Friday, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, said the party was worried about the ongoing clampdown on its members in Zamfara State.
He said the clampdown which has the imprint of the All Progressives Congress-led state Government was a clear and present danger to Nigeria’s democracy.
Ologunagba said, “The APC being disoriented by increasing popularity of the PDP and our Candidates ahead of the 2023 general elections, has scaled up its vicious assault and clampdown on PDP candidates and other patriotic Nigerians in an attempt to silence PDP leaders and halt the overwhelming daily acceptance of our Party’s message of hope to Nigerians.
“As we address you today, the Governor Bello Matawalle-led APC administration in Zamfara State, has reportedly set up a killer squad in connivance with some elements in the Police which has commenced a brutal crackdown, arrest and detention of notable PDP leaders in Zamfara State based on unfounded allegations as part of APC’s plot to harass our leaders and other dissenting voices in the State.
“The PDP has information of how the PDP Senatorial Candidate and Director-General of the PDP Governorship Campaign Council in Zamfara State, Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, Captain Bala Mai Riga and other notable members of the PDP were hounded, arrested and illegally held in dehumanizing detention facilities by the Police reportedly on the orders of Governor Matawalle.
“Our Party has also been made aware of plots by the Gov. Matawalle-led APC administration to arrest and detain the PDP Governorship Candidate in Zamfara State, Dr. Dauda Lawal.
“We alert Nigerians that the security operatives attached to Dr. Dauda Lawal have been withdrawn reportedly on the orders of Governor Matawalle.”
Ologunagba said the PDP believes that this action by the APC is deliberately designed to expose it’s governorship candidate to harm and undermine his ability to campaign and engage the good people of Zamfara State on his security and economic agenda in line with the PDP’s mission to Rescue and Rebuild our country.
He said, “Also marked for arrest and detention are Zamfara State PDP Acting Chairman, Mukhtar Lugga, serving members of the National Assembly; Hon. Suleman Gummi, Hon. Shehu Fulbe and other leaders such as Col. Bala Mande, Salisu Maibuhu Gummi and Ahmed Garban Yandi among others in a heinous plot to put them out of circulation ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Ologunagba explained that the scheme of the APC is to torture, brutalize and keep these PDP leaders in detention so as to pave way for the APC’s militia to terrorize the people and scare them away from participating in the electoral process.
He said, “The PDP condemns in the strongest term, the action of the Gov. Matawalle-led APC administration which has become a clear and present danger to national security as well as a huge threat to our democratic process and corporate existence as a nation.
“The PDP and the people of Zamfara State cannot be intimidated. Governor Matawalle and the APC in Zamfara State are sternly cautioned not to mistake the peace-loving and law-abiding disposition of PDP members and the people of Zamfara State as a sign of weakness.
“Governor Matawalle and the APC in Zamfara State must realize that Zamfara State is home to the PDP, that Dr. Dauda Lawal has the full support of the people and is coasting to victory as the next Governor of Zamfara State.”
The PDP Spokesperson equally warned that any attack on the PDP in Zamfara State will be considered as a direct assault on the generality of the people; it amounts to pushing the people of Zamfara State to the wall and the consequences could be dire.
He invited the APC to note that its days in office in Zamfara State are numbered.
Ologunagba also said, “The PDP therefore demands for the immediate and unconditional release of Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, Captain Bala Mai Riga and other members of the PDP who were illegally arrested and detained reportedly on the orders of Governor Matawalle.
“The PDP also charges the Inspector General of Police to immediately restore the withdrawn security details attached to the PDP Governorship Candidate in Zamfara State and take urgent steps to ensure the provision of adequate security for PDP members in the State in line with the Constitutional duty of the Police to the Nigerian people.“
The Party also demanded that the IGP, should immediately commence the investigation of the reported partisanship of certain top police personnel in Zamfara State which facilitated the vicious clampdown, illegal arrest and detention of PDP members in the State.
He also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately call Governor Matawalle to order, rein-in his APC members and counsel them to accept the fact that the people of Zamfara State and Nigerians in general have the right to decide their political preference.