By: Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party said in Abuja on Friday, that the All Progressives Congress has declared war on the people of Rivers State over the Saturday’s rerun election in the state.
It said the declaration that supporters of the APC should slap anyone that slaps them back was a declaration of war by their leaders.
Apart from that, it also described that the presence of the top echelon of the APC in the state on Thursday at its mega rally, where it said they incited their supporters against the PDP, as unfortunate.
A statement issued by the Spokesperson of the faction, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said that the APC supporters and their leaders behaved like what he called “garrison commanders.”
He alleged that the APC did not also spare other voters in the state as he alleged that its ordered their armies to attack them during the Saturday re-run elections.
Adeyeye said, “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 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 State 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 State, Alhaji Umar Ganduje who is also the Chairman of the APC, Rivers State 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.”
Adeyeye, a former minister of state for works, said that the PDP would not fold its arms and allow the APC and its supporters destroy the country’s hard earned democracy.
He said that the former ruling party would continue to alert Nigerians and the international community to the danger he alleged the ruling party was posing to democracy in Nigeria.
He called on the Police and other relevant security agencies to be alert to their responsibilities and ensure that the elections are not only free and fair but also very peaceful, orderly and without any violence.
Adeyeye appealed to members of the PDP in the state to remain calm in “the face of these daring provocations,” alleging that dictatorship, avarice and anarchy which he said have characterised the APC led government “may last for a season but freedom and liberty will last for eternity.”
He said the APC has nothing more to offer Nigerians, hence the alleged resort to war and attacks on the people.