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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of declaring war on the people of Rivers State in today’s National and state assemblies rerun elections in the state.
A statement issued on Friday by the spokesman of the Makarfi faction of the PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, deplored what he described as the shooting order given to APC supporters by some of the party’s leaders.
The statement said: “It was another sad day in Nigeria as top echelon of the APC, on Thursday, December 8, 2016, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, took turns like garrison commanders, ordering their supporters to shoot and kill any member or supporter of the 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 rerun elections.”
According to the PDP, the utterances of the APC leaders had reaffirmed the opposition’s fears about the actions and body language of the APC since it took over power in May, 2015.
The opposition raised the alarm that the APC was working towards erasing democracy and installing full blown dictatorship in the country.
The statement added: “The National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, while addressing a very scanty crowd at the so called ‘mega rally’ in Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday, openly incited members and supporters of his party.”
The PDP also recalled comments made by Kano State governor, Umar Ganduje, who is also the chairman of APC’s Rivers State rerun campaign committee, who reportedly told APC supporters to shoot back if supporters of the PDP shoot at them.
“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 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 State are not only free and fair but also very peaceful, orderly and without any violence.
Meanwhile, the Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction of the PDP has put in place measures to amend the party’s constitution to bar the party’s governors from producing their successors.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Deputy National Chairman of the faction, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, revealed how three governors of the party deceived Makarfi into dumping the party’s reconciliation talks.
According to Ojougboh, one of the unnamed governors is from the South West, while two are from the South-South.
Ojougboh stated this while inaugurating the faction’s executive committees from Rivers and Plateau states.
He said: “You will recall that Senator Ben Obi and my humble self addressed a press conference to announce the commencement of the process that should have led to a complete resolution of the intra party crisis in our party.
“However, Senator Ahmed Makarfi’s people reneged on all agreements reached and eventually disappeared from the meetings.
“We later learnt that three governors told Senator Makarfi that he should discontinue from the meetings because they had taken care of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Courts. That they had been assured of judgments.”
According to Ojougboh, the Sheriff faction was not out to kill the PDP as it is being portrayed by those he described as detractors, saying that rather, the faction was all out to destroy impunity, imposition, corruption, among others.
On the Rivers state rerun elections, the Sheriff faction pledged to support the state Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike to deliver the legislative seats to the PDP.
“We in the NWC are making all necessary arrangements to reposition our party. We intend to return the party to the original owners, the grass roots.
“We encourage those who left the party to return. We are not going to allow our party to die.
“We therefore will not submit our registration certificate to INEC in order to form another party,” Ojougboh said.