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Nigeria On The Brinks Of Dictatorship – PDP

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BEVERLY HILLS, April 07, (THEWILL) – The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday raised the alarm over what it described as a grievous development and worrisome trend which, according to it, is not only inimical to the stability of the country but also the collective wellbeing of all citizens.

Warning of a serious threat to the citizenry, the party said: “We are at the verge of a quick slide into dictatorship and the personal freedom we all enjoy today is about to be obliterated.”

Raising the alarm at a media briefing in Abuja, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, recalled that the ruling party had earlier told Nigerians that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had no clear agenda on how to govern the country.

“Rather than concentrate on how to manage the mandate they now hold, they have resorted to seeking ways to stifle opposition and impose a one-party system and complete totalitarian rule in our country,” he alleged.

According to Metuh, “Reports reaching the PDP leadership from across the country show that the APC has been desperately seeking ways to destabilise our ranks and weaken our formations by approaching some senior members of our National Executive Committee (NEC) with phantom promises and threats ostensibly to use them to inject crisis in our fold and pave way for our elected members to cross over to APC.

“Furthermore, the PDP has it on good authority that part of this agenda of the APC is to intimidate and harass our members especially officials who served under our administration.

“However, we wish to state in very unequivocal terms that the PDP leadership under the Chairmanship of Ahmadu Adamu Mu'azu will not condone any witch-hunt on any of our elected and appointed officers, including state governors, ministers, legislators and others who served with clean records as such will be met with stiff resistance within the ambits of the principles of democracy.

“We will do everything humanly possible within the rules to defend democratic principles and ethics, which we have successfully nourished in the past 16 years.

“On this note we charge our members to be vigilant and continue to work our leaders at all levels.”

Metuh maintained that the PDP strongly believes that “our democratic journey got this far because of the open space our administration gave to all political players including the APC,” even as he warned that “we will not, even in the role of opposition, watch our nation slide into dictatorship.”

According to him, “Because we are convinced that the APC lacks what it takes to sustain our democracy, the PDP is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure that it returned to power in the next four years to save the nation's democracy and re-channel our vision of a greater Nigeria.

“A foretaste of the destabilising mission of the APC is clearly evident in the avoidable political tension being created in Ekiti and Lagos States where the APC is desperate to truncate the will of the people.

“The flimsy reasons being touted by the out-going lawmakers in Ekiti State who have since lost their electoral value is part of the APC agenda to seize power in the state through the back door.

“Also, the unfortunate outburst and death threats by the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, a supposedly apolitical royal father against non-indigenes should they vote for the PDP candidate is clearly part of the plot by the APC to use all means within its reach to intimidate and cow Nigerians to submission.

“The onus is on the Oba to prove to Nigerians, especially Lagosians, that his actions did not fall short of expectation of the royal institution through which his ancestors fostered justice, unity and harmonious living, making Lagos the most cosmopolitan city in Africa.”

Metuh said by dragging a royal father into a partisan contest, the APC has further exposed its bigger heinous agenda to destroy the revered traditional institutions apparently to compromise and bring them under its control.

“We strongly believe that the Oba of Lagos deliberately imported ethnicity and tribalism into the Lagos governorship election. However, unknown to him, most Yorubas are also solidly behind our candidate. What is at stake on Saturday is not ethnicity and tribe but the candidates can foster unity and harmonious living in Lagos state.

“In view of the foregoing therefore, Nigerians should see Saturday's governorship and State House of Assembly elections as very important vehicle to checkmate the selfish agenda of the APC against our nation.

“On our part, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is fully prepared for this very important round of elections and will not leave anything to chance. We have fully activated our structures across the country and our members and supporters have been adequately rallied for the polls.

“With our array of credible and popular candidates, the watchword now is vigilance. We are now more than ever before determined that Nigerians get the best out of representative democracy by ensuring that Saturday's elections are free, fair and credible and that all votes count. In spite of the threats and actual attacks, we will not allow our members and supporters to be intimidated.

“Our governorship and state assembly candidates are no pushovers. They are very strong credible political players in their respective states and constituencies where their backgrounds and performance are well known to the voters, devoid of ethnic or religious considerations. Therefore, anybody banking on ethnicity or religion for a so-called bandwagon effect in the April 11 elections is only chasing shadows.

“On this note therefore, we are calling Nigerians to note that our democracy is under threat, every citizen must stand up in defense of our common destiny as a nation and the PDP National Working Committee under the able leadership of our National Chairman is ever willing and ready to provide leadership in this regard,” Metuh further stated.