By Akanimo Sampson
Apparently shaken by the scale of violence and the militarisation of the Governorship and State Assembly elections in Nigeria on Saturday, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has strongly condemned the deficit of democracy the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has manifested.
The party said the heavy militarisation, violence and killing of innocent Nigerians by President Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 9, elections was ‘’desperate’’.
Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said the world watched with utter horror as soldiers under the command of the Buhari Presidency, allegedly ‘’hound, arrest, shoot, terrorise opposition figures and provide cover for APC thugs to unleash violence, kill opposition members, cart away electoral materials and disrupt polls in PDP strongholds, all in the bid to forcefully foist the APC on Nigerians.’’
According to the PDP, ‘’this resort to bloodletting, violence and official high handedness by the APC in our electoral process has further confirmed that this administration has no regard for the lives of Nigerians and lawful processes, but only interested in seizing power by all means’’, noting, ‘’never in the history of our nation had a general election recorded such bloodletting, violence and manipulations as triggered in the 2019 elections by the Buhari Presidency and the APC.’’
Continuing, the opposition party said, ‘’in Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Bayelsa, Kogi, Benue, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi, among others, soldiers brazenly aided APC thugs to unbridle violence, hijack electoral processes and write fictitious results for APC candidates.
‘’In Rivers, soldiers invaded INEC office in Bori, beat up and chased away PDP agents and assisted the APC in ballot stuffing and writing of results. The scenario was the same in Akwa-Ibom where security agents provided cover for APC thugs in their bid to hijack the electoral process.
‘’In Imo, APC thugs, accompanied by security agents disrupted polls in PDP strongholds and reportedly killed a PDP agents in Umudo/Umuwala area of Owerri. In Ebonyi state, APC thugs aided by security agents, burnt down INEC facility in the state, seeing that their party do not have any foothold in the state.
‘’In Ajaokuta, Kabba/Bunu, Olamaboro, Ijumu and several other local governments of Kogi state, APC thugs, assisted by soldiers invaded polling units and carted away ballot materials, a development which sparked off restiveness in some areas and resulted in mass destruction of property in the area.
‘’In many other states, the APC, in connivance with INEC orchestrated the deliberate diversion of electoral materials meant for certain areas to unknown destinations, resulting in the frustration of electoral processes in the affected area.
‘’We know that the APC plot to derail our hard- earned democracy and impose a fascist regime on our nation, but we are resolute in standing with Nigerians and all lovers of democracy to ensure that nobody, no matter how vicious, is allowed to vanquish our democracy.
‘’In all, our party stands with Nigerians in their resilience at this defining moment in our political history. The PDP commends the courage of Nigerians in standing firm in defence of democracy, despite the machinations of the APC.’’