9 November 2017

Nigeria: PDP Alleges Govt's Plot to Persecute 50 Party Leaders

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm over an alleged plot by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to gag the opposition in the country, but vowed never to succumb to intimidation and harassment.

Its National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye in a statement yesterday said the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration was persecuting the opposition for no justifiable reasons.

"The latest needless onslaught against our party members is the plan to incarcerate 50 members of our party before the end of the year with a view to using their arrest to deceive Nigerians that the failed anti-corruption war is still on course.

"The dirty job, we are aware, has been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Already, five members of our party have been arrested and detained without any charges preferred against them," the statement said.

Although the PDP said it could not immediately reveal the identities of about 45 of its members marked down for arrest in the days ahead, the party said it was not scared of the persecution by the Buhari administration.

"We are sure that the daylight is about to break after the dark night of the APC administration. We wish to state clearly that what is going on under the Buhari administration is not a fight against corruption but an attempt at using members of the PDP as scapegoats and cover up for the ineffectual anti-corruption agenda of the current government.

Also yesterday, an aspirant to the position national chairman of the PDP, Gbenga Daniel, blamed the leadership crisis in the Ogun State chapter on Ali Modu Sheriff's loyalists.

Daniel, who was governor of Ogun State from 2003 to 2011, spoke with journalists shortly after he collected his nomination forms at the Abuja secretariat of the PDP.

Meanwhile, the party has said that it was ready to receive former Vice President Atiku Abubakar back to the party.

It said that although it would accept Atiku back, but would not guarantee an automatic ticket for him to contest the Presidency in the 2019 general elections.

Chairman of the PDP's Board of Trustees (BoT), Walid Jibrin, who spoke with journalists yesterday in Kaduna, said Atiku was free to dump the APC and join his teeming supporters and friends in the PDP.

"The North met in Abuja and said any party and any candidate from the North can contest. Let us get them. I think they are getting set now. For now, we have Shekarau, Lamido, Bafarawa and others preparing for the presidential ticket," he said.

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