THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised alarm over what it says is the continuous harassment, arrests and detention of its members in various parts of the country by agents and officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled Federal Government, noting that people are now living in fear.
It has consequently called for the intervention of the international community.
In a statement issued by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Tuesday, the party said: “Today, there is a thoughtless abuse of human rights in our country and the people now live in fear. Opposition members are now being arrested, manhandled and detained, with some of them having their family houses demolished for holding and expressing the opinion even under a democracy.”
The leading opposition party maintained the lives of its members and supporters are increasingly at risk as the government “is becoming more intolerant of opposition, particularly, having realised that its chances of getting re-elected in 2019 have dimmed as the people have rejected it due to its abysmal performance in the nearly three years of misrule.”
The PDP alerted the entire world of “the increasing aggression and cruelty against opposition members and perceived opponents of government by the APC-led Federal Government, which is now using the apparatus of state power in their desperation to cow and subjugate opposition, suppress constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and association in our country.”
The party pointed out: “Currently, our members and supporters in many states including Edo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kogi, Borno, Adamawa and others are being hounded for expressing their opinion, particularity on the exposed corruption, abuses, constitutional violations and incompetence of the APC administration.
“As we speak our Edo state Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih was summoned, questioned and his personal freedom curtailed by the police in Edo state for daring to speak against corruption in the state, an action which the unscrupulous officers at the command boasted will teach him and PDP members in the state, a lesson. We commend Chief Dan Orbih for his forthrightness even in the face of harassments and intimidation by the APC.
“In Kogi State, there are reports of APC agents attacking and destroying property belonging to opposition members and supporters. Nigerians have not forgotten how the APC government in Kaduna state demolished property belonging to opposition members and perceived political opponents; how the PDP secretariat in Borno was destroyed and how our property and those of our supporters were destroyed by agents of government in Adamawa state.”
It decried “this raging intimidation of our party officials, members and supporters and call on all good-spirited Nigerians and the international community to stand up and condemn this drift towards a stone age despotism. Nigeria is a democratic state and we reject any attempt by anybody to suppress the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people, particularly regarding the choice of how they can be governed.”
According to the PDP, the APC has failed and should not be allowed to vent its frustration on innocent Nigerians.