By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cried out over the on-going clampdown, unlawful arrest and detention of its officials and members in various parts of the country by the presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of Saturday’s election.
The Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, while addressing a press conference Monday in Abuja, said that the party has also been informed of plots by the APC and the Buhari Presidency to track down and detain PDP critical stakeholders in other parts of the country, so as to put them out of circulation before and during the general election.
The main opposition party expressed concern over the unwarranted arrest of the Director of Media Committee of the Kaduna State PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation, Mr. Ben Bako, who has been detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) since last weekend.
He stated: “This is highly provocative and a direct invitation to anarchy and a political crisis that is capable of derailing our democratic order.
“The PDP also stresses that it will hold the APC and the Buhari Presidency directly responsible should any harm, whatsoever, befall any of our leaders or members, particularly in Kaduna State ahead of the elections.
“We are aware that Mr. Ben Bako’s arrest is prelude to the planned clampdown on our campaign officials by the Buhari Presidency and the APC, whose aim is to instill fear in the polity, incite crisis and derail the electoral process, having realised that they have lost in this election ahead of the polls.
“It is instructive to state that the DSS has given no reason for Mr. Ben Bako’s arrest and detention, but only acted on the orders of the APC as expressed by the Assistant Publicity Secretary of Kaduna APC, Salisu Tanko Wusono, who openly stated that Mr. Bako deserves his ordeal.”
He further revealed that reports reaching the party from the Kaduna State chapter indicate that many of its leaders including former governors of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Markarfi and Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero; PDP Kaduna State chapter Chairman, Chief Felix Hyat and the former PDP state chairman, Alhaji Yahaya Yaro Makama, among others, have been listed for clampdown and are now being trailed by agents of the APC.
The PDP therefore demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Bako by the DSS without hurt or further harassment.
Ologbondiyan stated that Kaduna State is a PDP stronghold and the party is not ready to stomach any further harassment of its leaders, officials and members before, during and after the general election.
He said “The PDP unequivocally cautions the Buhari Presidency and the APC to note that their plot, as well as the continued detention of Ben Bako, is setting the stage for a vehement resistance by the people, which is capable of triggering crisis and disrupting the fragile peace in Kaduna State.
“We therefore call on the National Peace Committee to note, as well as speak out against the provocations by the APC and the Buhari Presidency against our party, which are in total negation of the spirit and letters of the peace accord.
“The PDP states this because Nigeria belongs to all of us and we will not hesitate to call out our members, in their millions, should this aggression by the APC and the Buhari Presidency against our party is not curbed.”