The People’s Democratic Party ( PDP ) has kicked against what it described as the on-going clampdown, unlawful arrest and detention of its officials and members in various parts of the country.
Accusing the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of instigating the clampdown, the PDP viewed the development as highly provocative and a direct invitation to anarchy and a political crisis capable of derailing the democratic order.
At a media briefing in Abuja on Monday, the PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, expressed concern over the arrest of the Director of Media Committee of the Kaduna State PDP Governorship Campaign Organization, Mr. Ben Bako.
Bako has been detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) since weekend.
Ologbondiyan said, “We are aware that Mr. Ben Bako’s arrest is prelude to the planned clampdown on our campaign officials by the Buhari Presidency and the APC, whose aim is to instil 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 deserved his ordeal”
The PDP spokesman said reports reaching the party indicated that some prominent chieftains of the party in Kaduna State have been marked for arrest and detention.
Among those listed as being targeted for arrest include two former Governors of the state, Ahmed Makarfi and Ramalan Yero.
Also listed were the chairman of the Kaduna chapter of the PDP, Chief Felix Hyat and a former chairman of the chapter, Alhaji Yahaya Makama, who the party spokesman alleged were being trailed by agents of the APC.
“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,” Ologbondiyan added.
The main opposition party said it would hold the APC and the Buhari Presidency directly responsible should any harm befall any of its leaders or members, particularly in Kaduna State ahead of the elections.
Describing Kaduna State as a stronghold of the PDP, the party vowed never to stomach any further harassment of its leaders, officials and members; before, during and after the general elections.
It called on the National Peace Committee to note and speak out against the alleged provocations by the APC and the Buhari Presidency against its party, in contravention of the spirit and letters of the peace accord.
“The PDP states this because Nigeria belongs to all of us and we will not hesitate to call out our members, in their millions, should this aggression by the APC and the Buhari Presidency against our party is not curbed,” Ologbondiyan said.