Zamfara PDP Alleges Plot by Matawalle to Clamp down on Opposition
By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara state, has raised the alarm over alleged plans by Governor Bello Matawalle to clamp down on leading members of the party ahead of the 2023 elections.
A statement by the Media Office of the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Dauda Lawal and made available to THISDAY on Thursday in Kaduna, accused the Matawalle led administration of plans to silence PDP top shots with mass arrest and trumped up charges.
The statement signed by Tanimu Marafa, said PDP leaders were being hounded and forcefully picked up by the police, citing the recent arrest of Ikra Bilbis, a former Minister of State for Information and Director-General of the PDP Governorship Campaign Council as part of the plot.
“Zamfara state Peoples Democratic Party wishes to alert the general public that it has secured intelligence information that the Matawalle-led government has perfected plans to clamp down on notable opposition party figures in the state within a few days”, the statement reads.
“The proposed unguided plan is to come up with trumped up charges and insist that security agencies, especially the police arrest and charge such opposition party members to court.
“The plan has been activated with the illegal arrest of the Director-General of the Governorship Campaign Council of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in the state, Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, a former minister.
“Bilbis and some members of our great party were arrested and detained by the police on the orders of the state governor.
“Also arrested on trumped up charges is Captain Bala Mai Riga, who has been in detention for a while.
“Our source confirmed that key members of the PDP were identified for an unjustifiable arrest, including our governorship candidate, Dr. Dauda Lawal and state acting Chairman of the party, Mukhtar Lugga.”
The statement further alleged that some PDP members marked for arrest by the state government include: Farouk Rijiya, Abubakar Rawayya, Zangina Abdullahi, Mugira Yusuf, Usman Danmasani Nahuche, Yarbachaka Haruna, Bashir Shehu, Usman Mafara, Bello S/Fagon, Ahmed Mairiga, Col. Yandoto, Nagambo Anka, Comr. Sale Maradun, Abba Oando, Suleiman Bukuyum, Rabiu Ilili Bakura, Mani Kotorkoshi, Kulu A.A Master, Maryam Buba, Abdulmajid Anka, and Zayyanu Gusau among several others.
Mafara called on “well-meaning Nigerians and the good people of Zamfara to impress on the Matawalle-led government not to heat up the polity with this ill-advised decision to clamp down on opposition party figures”.
The statement urged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to be warry of the fragile security situation in the state, stressing that clamping down on the opposition with trumped up charges could lead to breakdown of law and order.
The statement called on relevant security operatives, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Peace Committee and the International Community to do the needful by restraining Matawalle from blatant abuse of power.
“It would be recalled that in October, we petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, over unlawful harassment of our members by security agents on the orders of Governor Matawalle.
“The petition was to call the attention of the Inspector General on the safety of our members in Zamfara due to the credible information at our disposal that the state government had activated a police squad to eliminate members of the opposition.
“This is exactly what is at play in the state. “
The PDP also called on the judiciary to uphold fairness, justice and not to allow itself to be used as tools for the political persecution.
The statement demanded for the
Immediate release PDP members arrested by the police and stoppage of the planned draconian arrest of its members ahead of the 2023 elections