- Alleges Secondusâ€™ life threatened Lawmakers risk gun-running frame up
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saturday alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government has perfected plans to clamp down all opposition groups.
The party particularly mentioned the travails of its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, whom it said had been receiving threats from government quarters since the PDP filed a petition with the United Nations.
Addressing a press conference saturday, National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the clampdown was tailored to silence opposition as well as those who refused to join or support the APC in their alleged design to emasculate other political parties, undermine the law and electoral system and foist a one-party state.
He said the National Working Committee of the PDP, after due consideration of the state of the nation decided to alert Nigerians and the international community to know those to hold responsible should anything untoward begin to happen to opposition members.
He said, “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 elections.
“Our National Chairman, Uche Secondus, has been receiving threats since the party filed a petition to the United Nations over gross human rights violations.”
The PDP spokesman said apart from threats, there were plot to rope members of the New Peoples Democratic Party (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.
He said the reason for the alert was for the international community to know who to hold responsible if opposition elements begin 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 trumped-up charges, as well as illegal invasion of their homes and businesses by agents of the state.
Apart from allegations of corruption, Ologbondiyan said there were also plots to clampdown and detain opposition leaders for charges bordering on treason.
He said the party was also aware that some compromised judicial officers had been enlisted to convict and jail members of the opposition as well as dissenting voices, on flimsy grounds.
He said, â€œThe 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 robberyâ€ attacks, high profile abduction and sudden disappearances,”
Ologbondiyan further said that the APC was fixated with the PDP because of the renewed popularity of the party among Nigerians, as the inevitable vehicle to return power to the people, restore democracy, national cohesion and safeguard the territorial integrity of Nigeria in 2019.
According to him, “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.”