• PDP warns police, other security agencies
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari has designated Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This is just as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cautioned the police and other security agencies not to allow themselves to be used by the APC as instruments of persecution against Nigerians perceived to be opposed to the re-election bid of Buhari.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said alleged moves by the police to arrest the media adviser to former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, Mr. Kassim Afegbua, over a statement by the former president on the 2019 polls was a ploy to set the stage to stifle free speech in the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement said, Tinubu’s assignment “will involve resolving disagreements among party members, party leadership and political office holders in some states of the Federation.”
The party in recent times was bedeviled with crisis. Prominent among the states that APC leaders and political office holders were having disagreements are Kano, Oyo, Rivers, Kogi, Kaduna, Zamfara and Osun states.
In Kano, there was disagreement between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, and his predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso. Ganduje was deputy to Kwankwaso who is now a Senator.
In Rivers State, there was also disagreement between the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and Senator Magnus Abe.
In Osun State, Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun, were not seeing eye-to-eye.
However, the PDP noted that “unwarranted harassment of perceived opponents of the APC and actual presidential hopefuls and opposition members” is distasteful.
According to the PDP, the development was a threat to the nation’s democracy and “symptomatic of a failed party that is prepared to turn against the citizens in a desperate bid to hang on to power against the will of the people.”
The party added: “We now have a terrifying situation where people are harassed for daring to aspire for certain elective offices or even express opinion regarding governance in the country.
“Nigerians and the international community have seen that almost all those who have openly expressed, or perceived to be nursing ambition for certain offices, including the presidency, are now facing one trumped up charge or the other, ostensibly meant to cow and discredit them.
“The point is that the APC has refused to wake up to the reality of the fact that Nigerians have already reached a consensus rejecting them and that no amount of threats, intimidation and persecution with state apparatus of power can subjugate or make them change that determined resolve to vote out APC and its candidates come 2019.
“We therefore call on all well-meaning Nigerians to caution the APC.
“The fact that the APC is leaving office in 2019 has become inevitable and no one should be part of their desperation to completely ruin our nation before their exit.”