The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared war on the people of Rivers.
In a statement issued on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the PDP said comments made by APC chieftains on Thursday at its Mega rally were geared towards turning Saturday’s election into a battlefield
The statement read, “It was another sad day in Nigeria as top echelon of the Ruling party in the country, the All Progressive Congress (APC), on Thursday, December 8, 2016, in Port Harcourt, Rivers took turns like garrison commanders, ordering their supporters to shoot and kill any member or supporter of our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The APC did not also spare other voters in the state as they ordered their armies to attack them during the Saturday, December 10, 2016 Re-Run Elections.
“This open declaration of war on the people of Rivers State is only reaffirming our earlier position and fear that all the actions and ‘body language’ of the All Progressive Congress (APC) since it took over power in May, 2015 is gearing towards erasing democracy and installing full blown dictatorship in Nigeria.
“The National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun addressing a very scanty crowd at the so called ‘Mega Rally’ in Port Harcourt, Rivers yesterday openly incited the members and supporters of his party saying “If they push you, push them back. If they slap you, slap them back. As you can see, we came in full force, the whole federal might is here”.
As if that was not enough, the Governor of Kano, Alhaji Umar Ganduje who is also the Chairman of the APC, Rivers re-run Campaign Committee said, “If they shoot at you, take cover and shoot them back.”.
“This is very sad and a complete reversal of all the democratic experience we have built and nurtured in Nigeria in the last 16 years. A political rally which normally should have been an opportunity to sell its programme and manifesto was instead turned into a call for war and violence by the APC leaders.
“We will not fold our arms and allow the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its supporters destroy our hard earned democracy. We will not stop but continue to alert Nigerians and the international community to the danger the ruling party is posing to our democracy.
“We therefore call on the Nigerian Police and other relevant security agencies to be alert to their responsibilities and ensure that the elections on Saturday in Rivers are not only free and fair but also very peaceful, orderly and without any violence.
“We again call on our members, teeming supporters and the electorate in Rivers to remain calm in the face of these daring provocations. Dictatorship, avarice and anarchy that has characterized this APC led government since inception may last for a season but freedom and liberty will last for eternity. The APC has nothing more to offer Nigerians, hence the resort to war and attacks on the people.
“Finally, we urge the people of Rivers to come out en masse on Saturday, December 10, 2016 and vote for all the candidates of our party, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in the re-run elections. Rivers is the home of the PDP and we are sure of victory in all the elections.”
On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari called on all parties involved in the elections to shun violence and embrace peace.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.