By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Barely two weeks to the polls, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai has perfected plans to intimidate, arrest and detain some opinion leaders, stakeholders and religious leaders ahead if the 2019 general elections.
Kaduna State PDP Chairman, Hon. Felix Hassan Hyat expressed this at a media briefing held at the party’s state secretariat on Monday February 4, 2019.
“Panned intimidation, arrest and detention of some opinion leaders, Stakeholders and clergymen on trumped up charges until the elections are concluded.
“Just recently there has been increased intolerance on the part of the El-Rufai led government as witnessed in the destruction of opposition billboards/posters and vicious attack on our members. This is evident with the stabbing to death of our supporters after the Presidential Rally and unfortunate happenings in Garun Kurama while the Governor was visiting Lere Local Government of Kaduna State (we have pictorial evidence to back our claims),” he said.
Hyat noted also that, “the desperation of the Governor wherein he instigated the biased and skewed posting of Police personnel to achieve his desire of using security forces to rig the elections and commend the Acting IGP for cancelling the said postings on assumption of office. The Governor however is boasting that he has been assured of such ethnically and religiously biased redeployments of security personnel,” he said.
The Kaduna PDP Chairman therefore, called on President Muhammad Buhari, National Assembly, media ànd others to intervene.
“In view of the above, we call on the President, National Assembly, INEC, Media and security agencies to investigate and take proactive measures in ensuring that they save our democracy from the hands of accidental and desperate politicians led by the Governor in Kaduna State.
“We call on the international community to as a matter of urgency call the Governor to order, as a threat to democracy in one part of the world is a threat to all democracies globally.
“Local and international observers should urgently take note of the above plans by the Governor of Kaduna State, as rigging starts at the pre-election stage, and raise the red flag as the elections draw near.
“Members of the electorate also have a big role to play in ensuring that they are vigilant and defy intimidation by coming out to vote and defend their votes,” he said.
In conclusion, PDP strongly appealed to all security agencies, local and international observers, the electorate, other stakeholders, particularly the umpire – INEC, to take adequate steps to immediately address this open threat to democracy very seriously, given President Muhammadu Buhari’s repeated promise to the Nigerian people that he will ensure that this very crucial 2019 General Election is not only credible but seen to be credible in all ramifications.