The Presidential Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has raised the alarm over the growing trend among states controlled by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to deny it access to public space for campaigns.
Dele Momudu, the director of Strategic Communication of the campaign, raised the alarm at a media briefing, in Abuja, on Friday, December 9, 2022.
He expressed regret that this was happening in a democracy that is supposed to be a market place of ideas and alternative opinions.
Momudu said, “In practically all APC-controlled states, It’s been virtually impossible for us to install our billboards to paste our posters, use APC government-controlled radio stations, especially in Lagos where the candidate of the APC is seen as next to God.
“So, I wish to appeal through you to the federal government since they control the APC, that this is not what democracy is all about.
“I was one of those who fought and suffered for this democracy. We never envisaged that in the civilian regime, we are going to have this kind of harassment, whereby we cannot practice democracy as it should be done.
“In 2014-2015, I was one of those who supported Buhari, and there was never a time that PDP disturbed us because if they had disturbed us, maybe there would have been no Buhari.
“We are hoping that Mr. president would help us speak to the security agencies, to protect the lives of our people, to protect our properties wherever they are on the soil of Nigeria, because we are all Nigerians.”
The Director noted that the Atiku campaign has over the last couple of weeks demonstrated how prepared the candidate is for the task of providing leadership for the county.
He said, “People can see the clear difference between His Excellency Atiku Abubakar and the other challengers.
“It’s very clear that he is the most experienced, the most detribalized, he doesn’t go anywhere discriminating against anyone, he is prepared.
“Nigeria can’t afford another sad experiment or experimentation, because if you are not prepared, that is what will happen. He knows what to do from day one.
“There is no doubt in my mind right now that PDP is in the lead when it comes to campaigning. When it comes to positive messaging, the others I will not say they are in disarray but they are struggling.
“PDP is clearly in the lead. PDP is a very responsible political party. We are the most organized political party and that is why if you have monitored or if you have followed our rallies, you would have noticed that they are usually carnivals, carnivals of ideas, carnivals of issues.”
Condemns attack on Sen. Maeba’s PH residence
The Campaign also condemned the attack on the Port-Harcourt residence of Senator Lee Maeba, one of Atiku’s campaign coordinators in Rivers State by yet to be identified thugs.
Momodu said, “Even the National Security Adviser last week, came out and he said that the President has clearly instructed them to do ruthlessly with troublemakers.
“We all know all the trouble spots. I’m surprised that after the President gave the instruction, some people still attacked the home of Senator Lee Maeba.
“The brother was told while he was being macheted, that if Senator was home, one bullet would have solved the problem.
“Yes, there are internal issues within PDP but that should not result in bloodshed. So those who are involved. I don’t want to apportion blame because I’m not a security agent.
“I have no facts of the case. And it’s even possible we could have been an opportunistic attack from anywhere we don’t know. So we appeal to our party members in reverse to cool temper.“
In a separate media address, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, expressed the party’s displeasure with threats contained in the speech of the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu to his supporters in London.
Ologunagba said, “When someone begins to take politics as war I think is condemnable.
“You will recall only two days ago, there is a viral video from the presidential candidate of the APC who said ‘Political power is not going to be served in a restaurant, you did not serve it alar cate, it is wicked, weird, it is being determined, you do it at all cost, you fight for it, snatch it, grab it and run with it.‘
“That is not what Nigerians want, what Nigerians want is for you to bring the ideas, debate the ideas, let the people decide, don’t run for it and what he has done now is to begin to instigate violence and say to his people, go ahead grab it by all means and this is consistent with this pattern over the years.
“You will recall in 2019 in Lagos, it started with a threat ‘if you don’t vote for the APC we will throw you into the lagoon’ that is fresh in our memory.“