PDP Uncovers Fresh Plots To Frame Up More Members
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faction engaged in attrition and legal battle with the Rivers State government and its functionaries has uncovered plans to further frame up and arrest more party members and prosecute them based on spurious charges of cultism and illegal possession of firearms.
The State government, in its desperate but doomed effort to suppress divergent opinions of whatever shade and substance, is on the trail of those members perceived to be adamant to its undemocratic stance so as to bundle them all into jail and give its supporters the leeway in the 2011 elections just around the corner.
Already, 12 members of the party are being prosecuted in a Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate Court on charges bordering on illegal assembly and the setting up of a rival PDP State Secretariat, charges which government lawyers now seek to amend to include cult charges and illegal possession of firearms.
It would be recalled that, upon the arrest of the 12 members currently facing trial in court, the police thoroughly searched and ransacked their houses and found nothing incriminating, hence the shock at where and how they adduced evidences to arrive at the fresh charges bordering on cultism and illegal possession of firearms.
Also, the Governor Rotimi Amaechi-led government now keeps surveillance in the State with the intention of clamping down on party members who are not in his good books, having them arrested by security operatives for prosecution.
Given that all the States of the federation profess to be under a democratic era, the PDP members in the State question the rationale behind the hunting down of loyal and faithful party members by the State administration simply because it fears that rival agenda would not boost the governor's ambition.
When in the constitution of the country, especially under a democratic, civilian administration, was the provision for the freedom of association struck out?
The party's teeming supporters are to be wary of the situation and new ploy of the present administration in the State, while the founding fathers enjoin the entire Rivers community to condemn with one voice this malicious, undemocratic, rather monarchical, ill-infested and utterly unwarranted onslaught against innocent, law-abiding and determined faithfuls who merely wish to express and exercise their democratic rights and liberty, especially as has to do with the freedom to assemble, associate and interact without molestation from any quarters, be it government or other unbranded enemies of progress.
We questioned the motive of the police and allied security agencies in blindly arresting and prosecuting blameless citizens who merely assemble as permitted by law to chart their political future even when, beyond all reasonable doubts, they have not done more than stress their political relevance within context and ambit of the country's constitution.
Jerry Needam, JP
PDP, Rivers State