The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has threatened mass protest over alleged clampdown, unlawful arrest, and detention of its officials and members in various parts of the country by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government ahead of the general elections.
The party also demanded the immediate release of its Kaduna State spokesman, Ben Bako.
It said the presidency and APC should be held responsible should any harm befall any of its leaders or members.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Monday, the spokesman of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “Nigeria belongs to all of us and we will not hesitate to call out our members, in their millions, if this aggression by the APC and the Buhari presidency against our party is not curbed.”
He said the clampdown on their members across the country “is highly provocative and a direct invitation to anarchy and a political crisis that is capable of derailing our democratic order.”
He continued: “Our party is concerned over the unwarranted arrest of the Director of Media Committee of the Kaduna State PDP Governorship Campaign Organization, Mr. Ben Bako, who has been detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) since last weekend.
“We are aware that Mr. Ben Bako’s arrest is prelude to the planned clampdown of our campaign officials by the Buhari presidency and the APC, whose aim is to instill fear in the polity, incite crisis and derail the electoral process, having realised that they have lost in this election ahead of the polls.
“It is instructive to state that the DSS has given no reason for Mr. Ben Bako’s arrest and detention, but only acted on the orders of the APC as expressed by the Assistant Publicity Secretary of Kaduna APC, Salisu Tanko Wusono, who openly stated that Mr. Bako deserves his ordeal.”
Ologbondiyan also listed Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero; PDP Kaduna State chapter chairman, Chief Felix Hyatt, and the former PDP state chairman, Alhaji Yahaya Yaro Makama, as among those penciled down to be arrested.
“Further reports reaching us at the PDP from our Kaduna State chapter indicate that many of our leaders including former governors of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero; PDP Kaduna State chapter chairman, Chief Felix Hyat and the former PDP state chairman, Alhaji Yahaya Yaro Makama, among others, have been listed for clampdown and are now being trailed by agents of the APC,” Ologbondiyan said.
The PDP spokesman disclosed that there were plots to track down and detain PDP critical stakeholders in other parts of the country.
According to the party spokesman, “We have also been informed of plots by the APC and the Buhari presidency to track down and detain PDP critical stakeholders in other parts of the country, so as to put them out of circulation before and during the general elections.
“However, the PDP unequivocally cautions the Buhari presidency and the APC to note that their plot, as well as the continued detention of Ben Bako, is setting the stage for a vehement resistance by the people, which is capable of triggering crisis and disrupting the fragile peace in Kaduna State.
“The PDP, therefore, demands the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Ben Bako by the DSS without hurt or further harassment.”
The party called on the National Peace Committee to note as well as speak out against the provocations by the APC and the Buhari government against its party, noting that they were in total negation of the spirit and letters of the peace accord.
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