By Bishop Oyoyo
The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO), yesterday alleged that perilous times lie ahead of the country, owing to what the party sees as desperation for self-succession on the part of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). It also said the alleged desperation portented a serious threat to national unity. It therefore called on the National Peace Committee, the United Nations and all world leaders to save the country from imminent collapse by immediately calling President Muhammadu Buhari to order, if there must be peaceful, free, fair and credible general elections in February.
In a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, Director, Media and Publicity for PDP Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO), the campaign organisation said they want the whole world to know that Nigeria is in a perilous time, that President Buhari’s desperation for self-succession has become
the major threat to Nigeria’s national unity, stability and peaceful electoral process.
According the PPCO, having realized that Nigerians are rallying behind their candidate, Atiku
Abubakar, as their next President, the Buhari Presidency is now seeking ways to enmesh the electoral process in crisis.
The PDP presidential campaign organisation further accused the Buhari Presidency of “overheating the polity with its unending manipulations of INEC, muzzling of free speech and escalated clampdown on opposition and Civil Society Organizations, which they insisted that such must stop if Nigeria must have a peaceful election.”
According to the PPCO, “no free and fair election can take place with Amina Zakari In INEC.”
The PPCO insisted that there was no way peace can be guaranteed without a free and fair electio, noting that “already, Nigerians across the board are livid with anger over the foisting of Mrs. Amina Zakari, President Buhari’s relation, to head the collation of Presidential election results.
“President Buhari’s insistence on having his relation in charge of collation of Presidential election results is completely provocative, a
direct affront to the sensibilities of Nigerians and express invitation to crisis of epic proportion, which is capable of truncating the entire electoral process and derailing our hard-earned democracy.
“The world is aware that majority of Nigerians have rejected Mrs. Amina Zakari. Over 90 per cent of the political parties in the election, as well as major political and socio-cultural groups across the country have also called for her resignation from INEC, yet President Buhari is insisting on her stay in the commission.
“Our party is aware of plots by the Buhari Presidency to use Amina Zakari, who has been mentioned as part of those involved in the rigging of 2018 governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, to plunge the 2019 general elections into controversies, truncate the flow of results and even render elections in some critical states inconclusive, to pave way for allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the APC,” PPCO stated.
The PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PPCO) also stressed that they want the National Peace Committee and the entire world to know that as long as Amina Zakari is in INEC, a peaceful election is not guaranteed, because according to PPCO, “she has the mandate to abuse the process and this will not be accepted by Nigerians.”
The PPCO who called on the National Peace Committee to immediately speak out on the impropriety of having Amina Zakari in INEC, “as well as insist on her removal so that we can have a credible and peaceful Presidential election.” It also expressed fears that a peaceful election cannot be guaranteed as long as the presidency continues to besiege, harass, intimidate, unleash violence and provocative acts of totalitarianism against opposition figures and persons perceived to be against President Buhari’s self-succession bid.
“The PPCO alerts the entire world and particularly the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) of the ongoing use of the police to clamp down on opposition figures, particularly members of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and outspoken CSOs on trumped-up criminal charges.
“Part of the plot is to charge such individuals before certain compromised judicial officers, in various states, who have been briefed to detain, silence and put such opposition figures and CSO members out of circulation until after elections are concluded.
“Particular cases at hand are those of our Presidential Campaign Director on Civil Societies, Senator Dino Melaye, who is being hounded for his outspokenness against the misrule of the Buhari Presidency, as well as Civil Rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, who is widely believed to have been held down in prison because of his scathing criticism against the violations of the rights of Nigerians by the Buhari Presidency,” PPCO said.
The PPCO recalled that Senator Dino Melaye had earlier alerted of plots by the police to arrest and poison him, saying that “his present ordeal as well as those of the civil rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, in the hands of the Buhari-led admistration, is incendiary in an election year.” It insisted that no harm must come to them or any member of the opposition or CSOs,
before, during and after the elections.
“The PPCO is aware that the aim is to use the state apparatus of power to attempt to instill fear in Nigerians, stifle free speech, cow opposition and CSOs to silence so as to pave for President Buhari’s self-succession. This is a clear attempt to return our nation to the nightmares of the 1984 when draconian leaders forcefully subjugated innocent Nigerians under the grips of military Decree 2 and we urge the CJN to save our nation by insulating the judiciary from this ignoble scheme.
“The PPCO wants the Buhari Presidency to note that it is preposterous for anybody, no matter how highly placed, to think that our great party, the PDP and our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who enjoys the support of overwhelming majority of Nigerians, can be subdued out of the political space in our country.
“Our heroes past fought against colonialism and won. Our modern heroes fought the military and gained today’s democracy for our nation so that every Nigerian can enjoy freedoms and rights as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Nigerians are therefore not ready to surrender these freedoms and rights to neo-totalitarianism or allow anybody to suppress them in their own land.
“We therefore counsel President Buhari to tame his desperation for power. Our nation has had many Presidents before President Buhari and there will be many more after him. President Buhari will not be the first President to be defeated in an election as such he should not set our nation on fire just because he is feeling the air of rejection due to his incompetence and the gale of corruption in his administration.
“Our party is courageously going into the general elections with the support of overwhelming majority of Nigerians and they are not ready to accept any result that does not reflect their already expressed wishes and aspirations,” the PDP Campaign Organisation stated.
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