The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described as worrisome and alarming revelation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government is plotting to arrest him on trumped up charges and detain him indefinitely.
The party said that the revelation, coming from a Nigerian of Chief Obasanjo’s status, is terrifying “as it has heightened the tension in the polity and confirmed our fears that our dear nation has descended into a police state where any Nigerian, who holds a divergent view to President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 re-election bid, becomes endangered.”
In a statement released by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP noted that, “The alarm raised by Chief Obasanjo has further shown that the PDP has not been crying wolf regarding the plots by the APC Federal Government to frame, arrest, detain and arraign political opponents of the APC, including regular Nigerians, for holding or canvassing opinions that are divergent to the interest of those in power.
“We invite Nigerians to note the travails faced by perceived opponents of Buhari Presidency including Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Senators Shehu Sani and Dino Melaye, who had raised similar alarms in the past,” the statement added.
The opposition party urged Nigerians “to note how APC-controlled security forces, on Wednesday, arrested and detained opposition members in Ogun State, including a member of the House of Assembly, Hon Adebiyi Adeleye, who were going about their legitimate activities, only to tag them as cultists.”
The PDP further condemned “APC’s resort to persecution, intimidation, harassment and framing of our members, as well as dissenting voices, just to suppress the opposition ahead of the 2019 election.”
It asked the Buhari Presidency to note that no amount of coercion, intimidation and illegal arrests will alter the determination of Nigerians to vote out the dysfunctional APC and rescue our nation from the shackles of the Buhari Presidency and its misrule, come 2019.
Similarly, former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has expressed concern over the alarm raised by his former boss.
In a statement in Abuja, Obasanjo’s ex-deputy said: “I have received with serious concern the purported alert raised by former President Olusegun Obasanjo of an alleged plot by the government to arrest him on trumped up charges.
“I am disturbed by this turn of events in our dear country considering the huge price that was paid for us to have democracy.
“I wish to advice that government and its agents should retrace their steps to avoid aggravating the already over-heated polity.
“The alert by President Obasanjo is coming against the backdrop of earlier alerts by some leaders, especially those of the opposition of deliberate and orchestrated attempt to intimidate and frame them up.
“I wish to state without equivocation that President Obasanjo is a historical figure in Nigeria’s democracy and that the primary purpose of government is to provide security of lives and property of all citizens and residents irrespective of their status, political affiliation, religious inclination and ethnic leanings.
“Our nation has lost so much precious lives and property that we can no longer afford to travel that road again.
“I wish to appeal to President Buhari to call the security agencies to order in order to douse the tension in the land.”