The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has condemned the directive by the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government to shut the venue for its Presidential campaign rally in Abuja billed for today, as an act of desperation.
Just as the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, on Friday, February 8, 2019, in Abuja, announced the adoption of the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, as its candidate for the February 16 presidential election.
The party however insisted on holding the rally as scheduled stating that nothing can stop it from rallying in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
PDP in a statement on Saturday, February 9, 2019, by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, drew attention to the fact that it duly paid and secured permission to host “our mega rally at the Old Parade Ground, in Garki Area of Abuja, only for the officials of the facility to inform our party on Friday, February 8, 2019, that they have been “ordered” to shut down the venue and frustrate our mega rally for no just cause.”
According to the party, “President Buhari has always been disheartened and jittery over spontaneous mammoth crowd of Nigerians at Atiku Abubakar’s rallies across the country, leading to the desperation to frustrate our rallies, resort to smear campaigns, vandalizing our campaign materials and denial of venues, in APC controlled states, as was the case in Kano state recently.”
Meanwhile, PDP Presidential flag bearer, Atiku Abubarkar has warned the federal government and the military to stop threatening PDP politicians.
Atiku gave the warning on Friday, February 8, 2019, in Calabar during the party’s campaign rally, alleging that there are threats coming from military head commands on party members.
He warned, “Let me caution the federal government and let me also caution the military, the military are not supposed to get involve in elections, only the police are supposed to keep law and order. I have heard, the military head command threatening people, threatening politicians, please I want to caution the federal government and the military, you have no functions whatsoever in our electoral process so be guided. I am a very constitutional person. I will protect law and order and I will retain law and order in our constitution.”
The former vice President commended the Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade for his vision to industrialize the state.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting called on key participants in the electoral process to play by the rules, stressing that everything possible must be done to make the 2019 elections peaceful, credible, free and fair.It reads in part: “The tension that has been generated by the 2019 elections is getting to a disturbing proportion and we call on all actors in the electoral process to ensure that peace ensues before, during and after the elections.
“We call on the security operatives to be impartial and to focus on their main mandate of preserving and protecting the lives and property of every Nigerian and foreigners alike.”The communique asked that “Politicians should refrain from making insidious statements and anyone caught going against this should be duly prosecuted”
“We demand of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, complies strictly with the provisions of the relevant laws in its conduct of the upcoming series of elections,” the group resolved even as it called on election monitors and voters to conduct themselves peacefully and in a manner that conforms to decent behaviour” stated. PDM national chairman, Bode Ajewole, said they resolved to rally behind Abubakar’s quest for the highest elective office given his contribution to the growth of democracy in the country.