by Azeez Adeniyi
The Peoples Democratic Party, National Youth Frontier (PDP NYF) has condemned the arrest of Chocolate City founder, Barr. Audu Maikori.
In a statement on Saturday, the group described the arrest of the lawyer as a show of shame, excessive display of tyranny and an act of executive rascality.
According to the statement signed by its National Coordinator Comrade Okai Usman, the group frowned at what it described as an attempt by the governor to shut down opposition voices in his state.
“We condemn the arrest of this young man. It is highly embarrassing, tyrannical and tantamount to a gross abuse of executive powers by the Governor.
“Governor El-Rufai is in the habit of silencing individuals and groups with dissenting views since his assumption to office. He started with Dr Dan Fulani, then ran a campaign of calumny against Senator Shehu Sani and now he has taken further steps to harass Audu Maikori, a Southern Kaduna indigene.
“Is he saying that there should be no opposition to his government even when it is clear that he has taken the state 100 years backwards within a span of two years?
“We are concerned and disturbed that the governor that was neither invited nor arrested during the life span of the Jonathan and Yero administrations at the center and Kaduna State respectively, despite his several malicious, inciting, hateful and even treasonable statements against both governments at that time is the one clamping down on dissenting voices calling for an end to the killing of innocent citizens.
“How would El-Rufai had reacted if he was arrested when he was making those evil and unpatriotic statements?
“It is unfortunate that a governor that publicly admitted to paying handsomely the perpetrators of the violence on Southern Kaduna people after reaching out to them will turn around to arrest Audu Maikori whose only offense was to condemn the killings of his people.
“Instead of intimidating, bullying and arresting the people of Southern Kaduna, Governor El-Rufai should bring these voices to the round table and chart a course for a permanent solution to the crises in the area. He has the responsibility of using his office to ensure there is unity and not division in every part of the state”
“We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Audu Maikori. The Nigerian Police is not the personal outfit of Governor El-Rufai, and we demand henceforth that they must act within the ambit of the law that set them up.
“We wish to use this medium to appeal to the elites of Southern Kaduna to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that there is lasting peace in the region but must also demand the unconditional release of all those arrested by the Governor”, the group stated.