- Â Says Secondus’ life threatened
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has again accused the federal government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting total clampdown on the opposition.
The PDP particularly mentioned the travails of its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, whom it said have been receiving threats since the PDP filed a petition at the United Nations.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, said the clampdown was tailored to silence the opposition as well as those who refused to join or support the APC in its unlawful design to emasculate other political parties, undermine our laws and electoral system, foist a one-party state and perpetuate their incompetent, dysfunctional and anti-people rule on our nation.
He said that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP after due consideration of the state of the nation decided to alert Nigerians and the international community to know who to hold responsible should anything untoward begin to happen to opposition members.
“PDP alerts all Nigerians that the APC and its federal government have commenced a vicious and direct clampdown of major opposition leaders, perceived political opponents and individuals with interests and views that are divergent to those of their presidential aspirant, perhaps candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, ahead of the 2019 general election.
“Our national chairman Uche Secondus has been receiving threats since the party filed a petition to the United Nations over gross human rights violations,” he said.
The PDP spokesman noted that apart from threats, there were “plot to rope members of ‘nPDP’, especially those in the National Assembly, into gun-running and murder charges just because they came out to voice their opposition to the APC governmentâ€™s constitutional violations and executive brigandage in the running of our nationâ€™s affairs”.
He said the reason for the alert is for the international community to know who to hold responsible if opposition elements begins to fall victims of untoward incidents and framed up charges.
Among the various human rights abuses PDP was alleging were wanton arrests, manhandling and detention of opposition leaders on trump-up charges, as well as illegal invasion of their homes and businesses by agents of the state.
Apart from allegations of corruption, Ologbodiyan said there are also plots to clamp down and detain opposition leaders for charges bordering on treason.
He said the party was also aware that some compromised judicial officers have been enlisted to give convictions and jail members of opposition as well as dissenting voices, on flimsy grounds.
“It is instructive to inform that our leaders, particularly, our National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, have been receiving threats since the PDP filed a petition to the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations, detailing documented threats to democracy by the APC and its federal government, abuse of human rights, mass killings, extra-judicial executions, persecution of opposition and unabated constitutional violations.
“The PDP is aware of clandestine plots against key opposition leaders, particularly, members of the PDP National Working Committee, some dissenting members of the APC, members of the civil society, opinion leaders, journalists and bloggers, who refuse to succumb to intimidation and that such persons have already been listed and currently being trailed by agents of the state.
“The PDP wants Nigerians and the international community to know those to hold responsible should PDP leaders, as well as other members of the opposition start falling victims of untoward situations like assassinations, unexplained accidents, inexplicable ‘armed robbery’ attacks, high profile abduction and sudden disappearances,” he said.
Ologbodiyan further said that the APC was fixated with the PDP because of the renewed popularity of our party among Nigerians, as the inevitable vehicle to return power to the people, restore democracy, national cohesion and safeguard our territorial integrity, come 2019.
“The PDPâ€™s response to all these plots is that we are not cowed. Nigeria belongs to all of us and our laws on political engagements are very clear. The PDP, as a party committed to democracy and freedom will continue to uphold the inalienable rights of our citizens to free speech, political association and to politically aspire to any position in the land, including the Presidency.
“Our party, therefore, urges all Nigerians to be alert, united and remain resolute in their decision to collectively defend our democracy and its tenets, constitutionally guaranteed personal freedom and the rule of law in our nation,” he added.