The Presidential Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party in Kogi State has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of destroying campaign billboards just as it warned perpetrators of the dastardly act saying that no group has the monopoly or capacity to embark on a campaign of calumny.
Reacting to the renewed spate of destruction of billboards and other campaign materials of the PDP and its presidential candidate Abubakar Atiku in the state, Head Media and Publicity, Usman Okai Austin, Saturday, in Lokoja said that whereas the campaign council will only focus on issues and only important issues which will advance the cause of its candidate, perpetrators of the dastardly act must realize that no group has a monopoly of a capacity to embark on a campaign of calumny.
Comrade Okai in a statement released to newsmen said “we have maintained the narratives, we have remained focused on issues directly linked to unemployment, insecurity, inflation, poverty and the rising disquiet among the federating components which make up Nigeria but it is only imperative for us to clearly let the APC and agents of the Kogi State government realize that their calculated efforts to stifle the campaign and mobilization efforts of the PDP by preventing our message of hope from penetrating the grassroots will be resisted by every legal means available to us as a group.”
Comrade Okai also noted that “information at our disposal clearly indicated that the Kogi State government has commissioned and is funding a covert team solely for the purpose of destroying billboards mounted by the PDP across the state. Ordinarily, we would have ignored the intelligence report but we are constrained to take it seriously because the grand plan has kicked off already starting from Otokiti along the Army Barracks road and other parts of Koton Karfe express corridor all in Lokoja.”
“The APC must realize that their resort to destruction of campaign billboards is an act synonymous with sheer cowardice being fallout of the inability of the ruling government in the state to provide the people with a standard of leadership and governance obtainable in states created at the same time with it. This is by no means the fault of the PDP which bequeathed a buoyant local economy, secured communities and a respected workforce to the accidental government of Yahaya Bello.
“In as much as we would wish to remain on the lane of reason, issues and constructive engagement, we will not be cowed or intimidated. If push comes to shove, we will show a clear capacity to take on the Kogi State Government on a pedestal that is alien to it and its agents.
“Not only will we compile a compendium of acts of the Kogi State government capable of instigating electoral violence, we will draw the attention of the UN, the Embassies of the United States and Germany as well as the High Commission of the UK and Canada to specific instances where Gov. Yahaya Bello have in the past and is currently channeling funds to ensure a erosion of democracy in Nigeria.”
In the meantime, Comrade Okai has warned against reprisals from members of the PDP urging them all to remain committed to the #VoteNotFight mantra and ensuring that their immediate communities are sensitized on the campaign pledges of the PDP and its presidential candidate.
“While we call on the Nigeria Police Force and relevant security agencies to rise to the occasion and restrain the Kogi State Government and its agents from threatening the peace of the state, we also call on traditional rulers, religious leaders and town unions to leverage their influence to and sell the message of peace to their subjects, followers and members.”