Text of Press Conference by the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Debo Ologunagba, Today, Friday, December 2, 2022 on the On-going Clampdown of PDP Leaders in Zamfara State.
Gentlemen of the Press, our Democracy and the 2023 General Elections are Under Attack.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), being disoriented by increasing popularity of the PDP and our Candidates ahead of the 2023 general elections has scaled up its vicious assault and clampdown on PDP candidates and other patriotic Nigerians in an attempt to silence PDP leaders and halt the overwhelming daily acceptance of our Party’s message of hope to Nigerians.
As we address you today, the Governor Bello Matawalle-led APC administration in Zamfara State has reportedly set up a killer squad in connivance with some elements in the Police which has commenced a brutal crackdown, arrest and detention of notable PDP leaders in Zamfara State based on unfounded allegations as part of APC’s plot to harass our leaders and other dissenting voices in the State.
The PDP has information of how the PDP Senatorial Candidate and Director-General of the PDP Governorship Campaign Council in Zamfara State, Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, Captain Bala Mai Riga and other notable members of the PDP were hounded, arrested and illegally held in dehumanizing detention facilities by the Police reportedly on the orders of Governor Matawalle.
Our Party has also been made aware of plots by the Gov. Matawalle-led APC administration to arrest and detain the PDP Governorship Candidate in Zamfara State, Dr. Dauda Lawal.
We alert Nigerians that the security operatives attached to Dr. Dauda Lawal have been withdrawn reportedly on the orders of Governor Matawalle.
Our Party believes that this action by the APC is a deliberate design to expose our Governorship candidate to harm’s way and undermine his ability to campaign and engage the good people of Zamfara State on his security and economic agenda for the State in line with the PDP’s mission to Rescue and Rebuild our country.
Also marked for arrest and detention are Zamfara State PDP Acting Chairman, Mukhtar Lugga, serving members of the National Assembly; Hon. Suleman Gummi, Hon. Shehu Fulbe and other leaders such as Col. Bala Mande, Salisu Maibuhu Gummi and Ahmed Garban Yandi in a heinous plot to put them out of circulation ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Other notable PDP leaders reportedly listed for arrest include Farouk Rijiya, Abubakar Rawayya, Zangina Abdullahi, Mugira Yusuf, Usman Danmasani Nahuche, Yarbachaka Haruna, Bashir Shehu, Usman Mafara, Ahmed Mairiga, Col. Yandoto, Nagambo Anka, Comr. Sale Maradun, Abba Oando, Suleiman Bukuyum, Rabiu Ilili Bakura, Mani Kotorkoshi, Maryam Buba, Abdulmajid Anka, Zayyanu Gusau among others who are now being hounded by APC agents.
The scheme of the APC is to torture, brutalize and keep these PDP leaders in detention so as to pave way for the APC’s militia to terrorize the people and scare them away from participating in the electoral process, having realized that the APC has been rejected in Zamfara State.
The PDP condemns in the strongest term, the action of the Gov. Matawalle-led APC administration which has become a clear and present danger to national security as well as a huge threat to our democratic process and corporate existence as a nation.
The PDP and the people of Zamfara State cannot be intimidated. Governor Matawalle and the APC in Zamfara State are sternly cautioned not to mistake the peace-loving and law-abiding disposition of PDP members and the people of Zamfara State as a sign of weakness.
Governor Matawalle and the APC in Zamfara State must realize that Zamfara State is home to the PDP, that Dr. Dauda Lawal has the full support of the people and is coasting to victory as the next Governor of Zamfara State.
Any attack on the PDP in Zamfara State is a direct assault on the generality of the people; it amounts to pushing the people of Zamfara State to the wall and the consequences could be dire.
The APC should note that its days in office in Zamfara State are numbered. The PDP will democratically take over office in Zamfara State on May 29, 2023 and no amount of harassment, arrest, detention and violence can change the Will of the people.
The PDP therefore demands for the immediate and unconditional release of Ikra Aliyu Bilbis, Captain Bala Mai Riga and other members of the PDP who were illegally arrested and detained reportedly on the orders of Governor Matawalle.
The PDP also charges the Inspector General of Police to immediately restore the withdrawn security details attached to the PDP Governorship Candidate in Zamfara State and take urgent steps to ensure the provision of adequate security for PDP members in the State in line with the Constitutional duty of the Police to the Nigerian people.
Our Party demands that the Inspector General commence the immediately investigation of the reported partisanship of certain top police personnel in Zamfara State which facilitated the vicious clampdown, illegal arrest and detention of PDP members in the State.
We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately call Governor Matawalle to order, rein-in his APC members and counsel them to accept the fact that the people of Zamfara State and Nigerians in general have the right to decide their political preference which they have amply expressed in their massive support for the PDP ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Thank you for listening
Hon. Debo Ologunagba
National Publicity Secretary