Don't Plunge Nigeria Into Crisis Over 2015 Ambition, APC Warns President Jonathan
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the violence unleashed on peaceful members of the party at Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Sunday by the police, apparently acting out a script allegedly written by the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to foment trouble in the South-west ahead of the 2015 general elections.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party put the blame for the violence squarely on the shoulders of the Presidency and the PDP, wondering why the police, who are paid by taxpayers to maintain law and order, would turn their weapons on the same defenceless citizens they are paid to protect.
It said but for the action of the Police, led by the Head of Mopol in Ekiti, Gabriel Selekere, the peaceful procession by the APC members in Ekiti would not have degenerated into violence, during which a harmless citizen was apparently shot dead by the police.
'Our members were carrying brooms, not weapons, and were singing and dancing as they marched through the streets in the best tradition of political rallies. Their procession was peaceful and carnival-like until the police unleashed teargas and live bullets on them without provocation, killing one person and injuring many. Even the Governor of the state was not spared by these trigger-happy policemen. This is unacceptable in any civilised society and must be condemned by all Nigerians,' APC said.
The party, however, said it was not surprised at the ferocity of the attack by armed policemen on the peaceful members of the APC, as it fits perfectly into the desperation of President Goodluck Jonathan and his party to capture Ekiti State at all cost as a leeway to entering the South-west ahead of 2015.
'The President who said his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian has apparently forgotten he ever made such a comment. Otherwise, how does he explain the bloodied body of a peaceful protester who was apparently shot dead by policemen acting out a script? How does he explain that the blood-thirsty policemen, who behaved more like hooligans, were led by an officer (Selekere) who has consistently been hostile to the State Governor?
'Is it by coincidence that the killer policemen were led by no other than Selekere, who once unilaterally transferred all mobile policemen attached to the Governor simply because he could not compromise them to set up the Governor, until he was overruled by the IG?
'Is it also a mere coincidence that a new Brigade Commander, Brig.-Gen. Momoh, whom they believed to be pliable and willing to do their hatchet job, has been posted from Minna to Akure ahead of the Ekiti elections, to replace Brig.-Gen. A.B. Dikko who refused to be compromised and allow the PDP to rig the recent bye-election in Ondo State?
'The Presidency and the PDP should know that Ekiti people will not allow a blood-thirsty and compromised Mopol Commander, a Brigade Commander or even the Presidency to pick their governor for them on June 21st. They will defend their votes to the hilt, whether or not the FG floods the state with security personnel in an attempt to intimidate and harass the people,' it said.
APC said the orchestration of violence in Ekiti on Sunday, a day after President Jonathan hinted that he had deliberately stifled development in the state by saying he would develop the state once the PDP is voted into office, has shown that the Presidency and the PDP have no qualms about plunging the country into chaos just to realise their ambition of capturing the state and the region.
'It is for this reason that we appeal to all the good people of Ekiti State in particular and all Nigerians in general to be vigilant in the days ahead. Whatever happens in Ekiti before, during and after the forthcoming election will be a barometer for measuring the desperation or otherwise of the Presidency/PDP ahead of the August election in Osun State and the general elections in 2015.
'On our part, we will closely monitor and expose all the shenanigans of the Presidency and the PDP to set Ekiti ablaze, destabilise the South-west and indeed plunge the entire country into crisis just because of an unbridled desperation for power. We urge our members in Ekiti to remain peaceful despite the provocation from the PDP and its cohorts,' the party said.
SAINT MUGAGA, ABUJA