By Augustine Osayande
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the ruling the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Borno State Governor Alhaji Kashim Shettima in desperation to cling to power has commenced its onslaught of terror against their party in Borno State.
The Party accused Borno state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima of sending its agents to demolish the party secretariat along Dandal Way in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Abuja through its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party in the country also accused the ruling party of constitutional violations, unrelenting persecution, arrests, detention and harried trial of its members.
“We have invited you here today to alert Nigerians and lovers of democracy all over the world of a very dangerous design by APC interests, which is inimical to the survival of our hard-earned democracy and the stability of our nation.
“As we address you today, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the desperation to cling to power has finally commenced its onslaught against our democratic order. The constitutionally guaranteed rights to freely associate is now under attack even as our nation is being pushed to the brinks.
“Also we bring to the attention of the world, the various constitutional violations of the APC; her unrelenting persecution, arrests, detention and harried trial of opposition members as well as perceived opponents of government, including innocent business concerns, all in line with the grand plot to discredit and stifle opposition in Nigeria’ Ologbondiyan said.
The party added that the ruling party have realized that its chances of winning the 2019 elections get slimmer by the day, they are now petrified by the popularity of the repositioned PDP across Nigeria.
“APC has now resorted to a vicious plot to physically attack our members and offices, as well as deploying force and orchestrated violence in an attempt to destabilize our structure across the country.
“As you may be aware, on Sunday January 21, 2018, the APC unleashed terror on the PDP by sending its agents under the instructions of the Borno state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, to demolish the PDP secretariat along Dandal Way in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
“This horrendous, beastly and hateful act of desperation is a direct assault on our nation’s democracy, a gross effrontery against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended, and further exposes the intensity of the fear and trepidation in the APC over the reawakened popularity of the PDP ahead of the 2019 elections” Ologbondiyan said.
He further stated that it is already in the public domain that the APC government in Borno state, for fear of the increasing popularity of the PDP, mounted pressure on the owner of the building to eject PDP but was frustrated by the refusal of the landlord.
“The governor issued a revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy on the property and immediately instructed the agents of his government to demolish a house belonging to a citizen without any authorization of a court of competent jurisdiction.
“We invite all lovers of democracy in Nigeria and across the world to note and collectively condemn this height of callousness from a government that vainly prides itself as the product of a progressive party.
“Nigerians have not forgotten the political tension created by the APC in PDP strongholds in various states, including the recent attacks on our members, such as the attack on those holding a lawful meeting in Idanre, Ondo state” Ologbondiyan added.
The opposition party spokesman said the increasing unwarranted attacks by APC controlled security forces on journalists, media houses and other well-meaning Nigerians carrying out their legitimate duties simply because they hold different opinions from those of APC interests speak volume of the desperation on the APC government.
“We know that the APC is already suffering from a pre-election fever because of the failures of the President Mohammadu Buhari-led government for which they will face an inevitable defeat in 2019.
“The unfortunate fact is that the APC is stuck with a demystified and poorly performed presidential candidate and is now afraid that the PDP is poised to present a more popular, nationally-oriented candidate who has compassion for the people and who also has the capacity and liberal-mindedness to urgently bring the nation out of the current APC inflicted national woes.
“However, we want to inform the APC that they are fighting a lost battle. Let it be known to all that the PDP under this new leadership will never be cowed. This country belongs to all of us and we are fully rallied across the board to call up our members to avail themselves of all provisions available in a democracy and within the law to defend our nation’s democracy” Ologbondiyan said.
He said the party has directed the Borno state chapter to immediately seek redress in the court of law. “We shall explore all processes within a democracy to ensure that Governor Shetima rebuilds the house and that his government is made to face the spirit and letters of the law. The PDP wants peace but not at the expense of direct violation of the nation’s democratic tenets and principles, which we successfully nourished and nurtured in our 16 years in office” Ologbondiyan said.
He charges their members to be at alert and continue to work with leaders of the party at all levels and called on all Nigerians, the international community to note the developments and stand in defence of democracy. “The world must hold the APC responsible should there be any political violence in any part of the country at this critical ,time,” said Ologbondiyan.