By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has called on the global Democratic community to punish the Chief of Staff to the President Prof Ibrahim Gambari and the former National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshoihmole for glaringly undermining democracy.
According to a statement signed by his SA Media, Ike Abonyi, Prince Secondus told a press conference at the PDP National Headquarters at Wadata Plaza on Thursday that a visa ban for the two men was necessary for their conspiracy act to subdue opposition and rig the forthcoming elections in Edo State on September 19, 2020.
Secondus spoke against the backdrop of the viral video where Gambari and Oshiomhole were discussing the rising incidence of violence in the run up to the September 19 Edo state governorship election.
He said that the threat to the nation’s democracy was becoming more and more real by the day.
Secondus said, “The PDP has watched with utmost concern the developing situation in Edo state. We have watched the growing desperation of the APC, and the Presidency to capture Edo state in the September 19 gubernatorial election at all cost.
“We are deeply saddened that under the watch of an elected President, Muhammadu Buhari, who is a huge beneficiary of democracy, the nation’s highest seat of power is being used for the hatching of plans to undermine democracy.
“The Chief of staff to the President Prof Ibrahim Gambari is such a strategic staff that when he is involved in any underhand thing, the President cannot free himself from it.”
The party chairman called on the National Assembly to call for the tape of the video and examine thoroughly its content with a view to acting appropriately.
“The constitution and the Electoral Act are clear on this type of blatant undermining of democracy by clamping down on the opposition.
“It’s very unfortunate that the numerous problems overwhelming the nation is not disturbing the President and his party but they are engaged in planning how to blackmail and arrest the opposition.
“It’s also in our findings that the several efforts of APC leaders to arm-twist the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) into falling for their devious moves to shift the election.
“All these anti -democratic moves are all aimed at one thing; creating a constitutional logjam to disruption the election because they know they cannot win.
“As all these underhand moves are crumpling before their eyes, the discredited former Chairman of APC was smuggled into Aso Rock Villa to fine tune the rigging strategy for Edo.
“The leaked video which has been confirmed by the Presidency, says it all, the plan to arrest and keep away all opposition leaders and clear the way for the rigging machinery of APC to roll through,” the PDP chairman added.
The development, he said, was not only shameful but also very unfortunate that the nation’s seat of power housing a democratically elected President has to be used to plan how to inflict harm on democracy.
Secondus also called on the INEC and the Judiciary to stand firm in defence of democracy and not yield to the “manipulative tendencies” of APC and its governments.
Continuing, the party chair said, “We wish to also draw the attention of the international community to this gross abuse of planning to undermine democratic process by critical staff who should defend it.
“We demand appropriate sanction of the individuals involved in this anti-democratic act, they should be given visa restrictions to any democratic countries.
“The interest and will of the people of Edo state should be paramount in all decisions and that should guide any action either by the INEC or the government.”
He declared that the PDP remains would vehemently oppose any attempt to postpone the Edo and Ondo states governorship elections billed to hold September 19 and October 10 respectively.
“Nigerians should declare anybody or group working to truncate the ongoing electoral processes for Edo and Ondo states as enemies of democracy who want to inject crisis in the two states by undermining the will of the people,” he said.