Guber poll: Presidency, APC turning South-South to war zone – PDP
…decries mass arrest of party members in Niger-Delta region
By Adekunle Adebayo, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday accused Presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress of turning the oil-rich Niger Delta region into war zone ahead of March 9 governorship and State Assembly elections.
The party, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan decried arrest and detention of its leaders and members in South South States.
Ologbondiyan specifically mentioned that Rivers, Delta and Akwa-Ibom States have been invaded by the Nigerian military.
He said, “The Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) is turning the South South zone into a war zone, out of their desperation to suppress voters, manipulate the electoral process and forcefully take over control of the states.
“In Rivers state, leaders of the PDP are being hounded and forcefully picked up in a well-coordinated operation by military operatives attached to the Director-General of Buhari’s Campaign Organization and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
“Our party has received reports on how soldiers led by one Major Mustapha
Bello from Sokoto Division, under Amaechi’s directives, manhandled, arrested and took away the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Tam Gogo Jaja to an unknown destination.
“During the February 23 polls, soldiers, also under the directives of Rotimi Amaechi, invaded the state and engaged in unrestrained harassment of PDP supporters, resulting in the killing of over 30 innocent citizens.
The PDP, however, called on the international community to note the development in the South-South, adding that “Nigerians should as well watch how the Buhari-led Presidency and the APC are provoking the people of the region and pushing them to the precipice.
He stressed, “The tension in the Niger Delta has been dangerously stretched and there is a limit to what the people can stomach in the face of such aggressions without resort to self-help.
“Moreover, the Niger Delta region remains a stronghold of the PDP and no amount of intimation and assault by the APC can change this reality.
“Our party therefore demands the immediate release of every PDP member arrested by the military as well as instant stoppage of military agression in the region ahead of the elections. Any delay in cessation of this aggression by the APC and the military will destroy the precarious peace in the region and spell doom for our nation.”