Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council has again condemned what it termed the latest attack on members and supporters of the party in Nembe, allegedly carried out by thugs suspected to be loyal to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP said that its members and supporters were on their way to the campaign rallies of the party in Akassa, Okpoama and Twon-Brass but drove into Igopiri instead of Nembe city to board their boats.
“They were immediately rounded up by a group of APC youths who descended on and inflicted bodily harm on some of them and also dispossessed them of their phones and other personal effects,” a statement signed by Director, Media and Publicity of the council, Jonathan Obuebite said yesterday.
Describing the attack as mindless and unprovoked, the party said it was a direct affront to the peace resolve of the PDP and all its members, adding that it’s loyalists had in the last few weeks suffered all kinds of politically motivated attacks from the APC with some of them like Bobolayefa Owupele, Special Adviser to Governor Seriake Dickson, still lying critically ill in the hospital.
“The political maturity of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Senator Douye Diri should not be taken for granted or be misconstrued as a sign of weakness,” it said.
The PDP campaign spokesman, Obuebite, warned that if steps were not taken to avoid any further attack, no party would have the opportunity to freely campaign again as political violence is not the monopoly of anyone or party.
He called on leaders of the APC to call their members to order and make them stay on the path of peace, maintaining that otherwise the PDP will not fail to defend its members, going forward.
But the APC said that the PDP was trying to foster panic in the state to prepare the ground for a state government-sponsored violence ahead of the November 16 governorship election.
The State Publicity Secretary and Secretary, Media and Publicity Committee of the APC Campaign Council, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, stated that allegations of poll rigging and violence were a mere figment of the PDP’s imagination.
It described the allegation by PDP as “the ranting of a panic-stricken party rocked by greed and fear of failure owing to its own poor performance, which is struggling to sow ºanxiety among the people to stave off imminent electoral rejection.”
The statement said, “It is clear to the people of Bayelsa State and, indeed, Nigeria that the Peoples Democratic Party in the state is in a terrible panic mood. Raising false alarm is only a way of managing their anxiety.
“False accusation and panic-mongering have been their signature election eve dress rehearsal for violence and electoral manipulation. The whole country saw it in 2015/2016. Ahead of November 16, PDP in the state is engaged in another full-scale practice before the launch of their terror assault on our electoral democracy.
“The party seems even more desperate this time. Hit by a wave of defections and imminent consequence of its poor performance, PDP in Bayelsa is nervous. And it has entered a persecution complex mode”