Bothered about the loss of nearly 100 lives in Kaduna, including the kidnapping and subsequent murder of a first class traditional ruler, the shooting to death of Shiite demonstrators in Abuja within the last 72 hours by soldiers, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed concern over the mounting tension, escalating public restiveness, violence and rising cases of extra-judicial killings in our country, under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
The party, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondinyan, says the frightening situation in the country is precipitated by series of divisive and undemocratic actions and statements of the Buhari administration coupled with its official high-handedness, blatant refusal to obey court orders and open disregard to constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens.
But President Muhammadu Buhari himself has expressed worry over the Kaduna killings and called for a stop to violence there.
However, the PDP says it thoroughly rejects the resort to maximum unleashing of state apparatus of power against citizens at the slightest provocation, resulting in bloodletting and extra-judicial killings of compatriots, preponderance of which are never investigated despite the usual lip service of bringing perpetrators to book.
The statement said further: “The PDP believes that the life of every Nigerian is sacred and deserves respect as provided for in the 1999 Constitution (as emended).
“The PDP therefore calls on the National Assembly and relevant international bodies to take a judicious look into the situation in our country today. Our legislators must, therefore, immediately open a system-wide investigation into all violations leading to loss of lives and property in our nation.
In another development, the opposition party says no amount of threats and intimidation by agents of the Presidency will stop Nigerians from freely discussing the failures of President Muhammadu Buhari and ultimately vote him out in 2019.
The PDP maintained that the prevailing hunger, acute starvation, humongous corruption, escalated violence, daily bloodletting, government insensitivity and governance by proxy, which are the hallmarks of this administration constitute the referendum by Nigerians to vote out President Buhari and replace him with our candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The party said the desperation by the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to gag Nigerians as well as to divert attention from their failures by making spurious allegations and distorting facts can no longer help as Nigerians have already moved on in their determination to do away with them in 2019.
Recall that Presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, had frowned at plans by the PDP to go to court to challenge the President Muhammadu Buhari’s West African School Certificate (WASC).
Said Garba, “This is a waste of time because we have the record of this and of higher qualifications obtained by hard work and truly merited by Mr President.
“This certificate story is an old one. As Femi Adesina stated clearly, it is a settled issue in the courts. To approach the court to pursue a matter long settled by the temple of justice is an abuse of the judicial system. It is shameful, disgusting and disgraceful.
“It is clear to all at this time that the PDP, facing an imminent humiliating defeat wants to sow division and chaos by seeking the destruction of the institutional structures that support our young democracy.
“They are attacking the courts and the police, they are molesting INEC commissioners. They are theatrical in spreading falsehoods against persons including the President.
“By doing these, they assume that they can take away attention from the discussions on issues gaining momentum in the country; the issue of internal security which has been jeopardized by years of near-zero investment under 16 years of the PDP; the provision of long-delayed infrastructure which the President is pioneering; corruption to which the PDP is incurably tied and the sustenance of the prevailing good days in the economy, a business-friendly government working day and night, creating more jobs and affordable life for the poor.
“This election isn’t about the settled issues of certification.
“No matter how honeyed their sweet words, don’t believe them.
“Their evil record can never be washed away. The PDP set a record of murdering opponents of government and corruption on a scale never seen anywhere before.
“They put the national security at stake by diverting huge budgetary allocations to service their greed. Don’t believe their honeyed promises.”
But PDP said Tuesday that Nigerians are already aware of how the Buhari Presidency wrecked the once robust economy, shattered national cohesion, subjected citizens to the worst economic hardship and turned the nation to a large funeral palour.
It adds: “Nigerians are already aware of how the Buhari administration has been attacking our institutions of democracy, including the National Assembly and the Judiciary and how judicial officers and legislators have been serially attacked under this administration. They know that this administration does not possess a modicum of respect for rule of law and how it has been putting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under pressure to do its biddings.
“Is it not shameful that the Buhari Presidency is accusing the PDP of attacking INEC commissioners just because our party exposed the secret meeting between it and INEC Chairman at the Presidential villa?
“The Buhari Presidency is also at pains over our party’s unrelenting demand that President Buhari’s relation, who was recently redeployed from Operations/ICT to Welfare Department, be completely removed from the commission; a position that has been approved by majority of Nigerians across board.
“Let it be known that the PDP and indeed, Nigerians will continue to demand for a credible, free, fair and transparent 2019 general election and we invite the attention of the international community to all ludicrous arrangements that confer undue advantage on President Buhari and his APC, particularly in INEC, even before the blow of whistle for the elections.
“Finally, President Buhari should know that Nigerians are not ready to continue to accommodate his incompetent, insensitive, corrupt and divisive administration, particularly now that they have a very credible candidate in Atiku Abubakar.”