Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government of resorting to all manner of negative tactics to undermine democracy in the country.
The party said APC was planning in their own words to â€œcapture Ekiti State at all cost.â€
Speaking while inaugurating the campaign committee for the July 14 Ekiti State governorship election at the national Secretariat in Abuja, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said as part of the devious strategy of the APC-led administration, key opposition elements have been marked either to be framed up for criminal offences or for corruption.
â€œI wish therefore to call on the international community and all lovers of democracy to show more than passing interest in what is going on in Nigeria today and watch as our democracy is being violated and ambushed.
â€œIn this country now, the opposition and anybody holding dissenting views from that of the small clique of persons hanging on to power today have been marked either to be framed up for criminal offences or for corruption,â€ he said.
Secondus said the Governor in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, had cried out recently that there is attempt to assassinate him but that his case was treated with levity only for Nigerians to witness a high profiled failed assassination attempt in Ekiti State last week at a rally.
He said PDP was also privy to a very strong rumour of a secret grand plan of the APC government where a special killer squad is being trained and armed to kill opponents and disperse rallies especially in the area where they expect PDP rallies to intimidate their own.
According to the PDP boss, the motive of all these deliberate police state being established by the ruling party is obvious; â€œto distract and disorganise the opponent to enable them hold on to power and establish one party state.
â€œNever, not even in the draconian days of the military rule was number three citizen of the country and an incumbent governor framed up for armed robbery.
â€œThis government has become a frame up administration. Senator Rabiu Kwankwasoâ€™s aide was locked for weeks where they were searching for things to frame him up; Senators Dino Melaye and Shehu Sani have all been framed up for being vocal against unjust system being perpetuated by this government.
â€œThe Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has had his guest house ransacked where they were looking for something to frame him up,â€ he said.
He said despite his constitutionally guaranteed immunity, Wike has had to seek court protection to halt search in his house.
Similarly, Secondus said the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has just alerted the county of plans to frame him up in the APC rally shooting.
â€œNigerians should watch and be ready for the sacrifice to save not just our democracy but the country. What is however certain is that victory is ours in the end because Nigeria cannot afford this APC journey any longer.
â€œPart of the costs has started manifesting with the shooting carried out at their own rally last Thursday which happened to be a continuation of the violence they launched on themselves and the state since their primaries last month.
â€œBecause of their desperation, a hitherto peaceful state of Ekiti has been turned into a war zone for a party whose electoral presence in the state is very negligible if any at all.
While charging the campaign council to do a good job, Secondus said they should ensure that the electoral desires of the Ekiti people are realised.
On the preparations for the elections, Secondus said the indicators out there are not palatable.
He said the signs are there for all to see that the attitude of the ruling party is that of a drowning man desperate to survive and whose posture is â€˜if I cannot make it, let me go down with othersâ€™
The PDP Chairman said: â€œThe heightened heat in the polity right now in the country is unnecessary if the APC administration is willing and equipped to face the electorate, but where itâ€™s obvious that they have nothing to offer to get the votes of Nigerians, they are resorting to all devious means to undermine the democratic process.
â€œInformation available to us shows that in, Ekiti State, they are trying to use all skillful underhand means to achieve goals but the people are well charged to not only come out to cast their votes on July 14 but that they are ready to defend it.
â€œAt this juncture, let me warn that if there is any attempt to thwart the will of the people in Ekiti State, there may be no general election and the entire democratic process will be endangered.â€
The PDP national chairman told the campaign commttee that the party attaches great importance to the Ekiti State governorship election, adding that â€œthe state means so much to the party because of the strategic position it occupies in South-west geopolitical region and the fact that itâ€™s a test run election ahead of Osun State governorship election in September and the general elections in less than one year from now.
â€œOrdinarily, given the enviable achievements of our party in the state in the area of delivering democracy dividend to the people in the last three years under the leadership of our irrepressible Chairman of PDP Governorsâ€™ Forum, Chief Peter Ayodele Fayose, Ekiti should be a smooth contest for us, but intelligence available to the party shows that the APC is planning in their own words to â€œcapture Ekiti at all cost.â€
He concluded: â€œI recall drawing the attention of APC recently to the negative aspect of our history associated with trying to obstruct the will of the people as willingly expressed through the ballot box. I tried to let them know that Ekiti State shares in that history when the then second republic ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN) attempted to use their federal controlled might to hijack power from the then Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) that was on ground in the old Ondo State for which Ekiti was part of,â€ he said.