AHEAD of Saturday’s Lokoja/Kogi federal constituency bye-election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the African Democratic Congress (ADC) have raised the alarm over the alleged plan to use security agencies to intimidate, harass and arrest their leaders and supporters.
The parties on Friday at a joint press conference accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of planning to unleash terror on the people of the federal constituency with the aim of repressing them.
Addressing newsmen in Lokoja, the state capital, the vice chairman of PDP in Lokoja local government area, Danladi Abubakar, alleged that the ruling party had brought suspected thugs from the 21 local government areas and neighbouring states to terrorise the people.
The parties also said they had gathered that the ruling party had perfected a plan to use the police, the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) to unleash terror on the innocent people of Lokoja and Kogi local government areas.
The parties however condemned the arbitrary threat and intimidation saying “this plot by the APC is a repression of freedom of expression and rights of indigenes of Lokoja and Koto-Karfe people and it is a backward step for democracy and lack of respect for the 1999 constitution as amended.”
The parties also accused the APC of planning to entice unsuspecting electorates with cash as it wanted to buy each vote for N10, 000, saying at least N3b had been earmarked for the purpose of election.
The PDP and the ADC in Kogi state however condemned expressed confidence in the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a free and credible election.
The parties, however, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the acting Director General of the Department of State Security Service, the Commandant Army Records, Lokoja and other relevant security agencies to stem the tide before it goes out of hand.
However, the state government through the director general, media and publicity to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo, said the opposition was only jittery of defeat.
He said the opposition parties in the state campaigned for the bye-election and were not attacked or disturbed, saying no opposition party could do that in their era.
Fanwo said, “PDP is jittery. We have uprooted them since 2015 and their attempt to relaunch through two failed faces in Wada and Ibro will do them no good. Ibrahim Idris and Idris Wada came to campaign. Nobody could have done that in their era that was characterized by high-class assassinations. We are not intimidating any opposition. The opposition should confess their fears.
“We do not have to buy votes. Our supporters and members are enough to win the election.
We are not oblivious to the fact that the party has adopted the Fayose-like approach of cheap propaganda to buy public sympathy.
They will fail like Fayose. We know how much their failed godfathers gave them to buy votes. Anyone who attempts votes tomorrow will surely be apprehended.”
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