The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Wednesday night, decried what it described as the the on-going mass arrest and detention of its leaders and members in South South states of Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states by the Nigerian military ahead of the March 9, 2019 governorship and state assembly elections.
The party also accused the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress, APC, of turning the South South into a war zone, in their “desperation to suppress voters, manipulate the electoral process and forcefully take over control of the states.”
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party claimed that in Rivers state, its leaders were “being hounded and forcefully picked up in a well-coordinated operation by military operatives attached to the Director General of Buhari’s Campaign Organization and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.”
The statement read: “Our party has received reports on how soldiers led by one Major Mustapha Bello from Sokoto Division, manhandled, arrested and took away the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Tam Gogo Jaja to an unknown destination.
“During the February 23 polls, soldiers invaded the state and engaged in unrestrained harassment of PDP supporters, resulting in the killing of over 30 innocent citizens.
“The PDP invites Nigerians and the international community to note the development in the South-South as well as how the Presidency and the APC are provoking the people of the region and pushing them to the precipice.
“The tension in the Niger Delta has been dangerously stretched and there is a limit to what the people can stomach in the face of such aggressions without resort to self-help.
“Moreover, the Niger Delta remains a stronghold of the PDP and no amount of intimation and assault by the APC can change this reality.
“Our party, therefore, demands the immediate release of every PDP member arrested by the military as well as instant stoppage of military aggression in the region ahead of the elections. Any delay in cessation of this aggression by the APC and the military will destroy the precarious peace in the region and spell doom for our nation.”