Less than One week to the commencement of general elections, the Kaduna State Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) have protested against alleged plans to arrest the former State Governor and Party Chieftain, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi and others as the campaign Director was arrested by security operatives.
The protest by the State branch of the PDP came following the arrest of the Party’s Director, Media Committee of the Governorship Candidate, Isa Ashiru campaign Organization, Ben Bako at the weekend, by the security operatives for undisclosed charges.
At a press briefing in Kaduna on Sunday, the Deputy Director of Ashiru’s Campaign Organisation, Danjuma Sarki, the State Director of the Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) Ahmadu Idris placed a curious invitation to Ben Bako before he was arrested and whisk away to Abuja.
According to Sarki, “as a law abiding citizen with nothing to fear or hide, Bako dutifully honoured the invitation of the DSS after informing many members of the campaign team”.
” We are very much aware that long before now, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, under the leadership of Governor Nasir el-Rufai, has penned down a long list of influential PDP members in the state for intimidation, arrest and detention over spurious charges few days to the general elections”, Sarki alleged.
Among those listed for arrest, he explained are “Former Governor of Kaduna State, and former National Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Senator Makarfi,
Former Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, Kaduna State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Felix Hyat and Former Kaduna State Chairman of the PDP, Yahaya Yaro Makama and Kaduna State Secretary of the PDP, Wusono”.
Sarki further remarked, “We also aware that several youth leaders of the PDP in the state, women leaders and staunch supporters of the PDP, including some public commentators are also to be locked up shortly before the elections.”
” The plan is to lock away 150 leaders of the PDP at the State and Local Government Areas on trumped up charges of hate speech during campaign rallies.The intention is to send fears and weaken the spirit of the campaign. Or to stir crisis in the state.”
“But, unknown to governor el-Rufai and the DSS, the more he arrests us, the stronger the PDP gets. It is too late to reverse the determination of the traumatised people of Kaduna state. They have been fleeced by a narrow group of friends and family under a government of tyranny, propaganda, bigotry, disunity and backwardness.”
Condemning Governor El-Rufai on recent threat to local and global peace, Sarki said, “If anyone deserves impeachment, arrest or arraignment for hate speech over the years, it has to be Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state.”
“The world today is still outraged by the murderous threat of governor Nasir el-Rufai to International Election Observers, when he vowed that should any of them intervene contrary to the designs and expectation of the APC during and after elections, they would return home in body bags. Curiously the Presidency, came out in full support of that crude, barbaric bravado which carries a costly diplomatic price, should any harm befall any International Election Observer in the course of their legitimate duty in Nigeria during the polls.”
“From his call for violent assault to the three Senators in Kaduna state; his denigrating reference to the Pope over his rejection by the electorates in Kaduna State and his latest threat, el-Rufai remains the greatest albatross to local and International peace in Nigeria today. Not Mr. Ben Bako of the PDP. “
“The PDP in Kaduna state will not be drawn into any violent conflict no matter the provocation.Let us reiterate for the records: The PDP in Kaduna state is determined and totally committed to a violent free polls. No member or supporter of the PDP must be involved in breaking the law.In the same manner, the PDP is solid serious about ensuring that every vote cast in the state counts.”
” We are calling on our members and supporters to ensure that they come out in large numbers and vote. They must ensure that their votes are counted, recorded and securely moved to the next collation centre. On this, we are ready to use every legal means to protect our franchise. No amount of intimidation, threat, blackmail and illegal use of state force will deter us from this aspect.”
Meanwhile, Sarki has demanded for the release of Bako from detection custody.
He said: “The DSS has become compromised and partisan in Kaduna state and we say No. To such development. We believe that Kaduna State Director of the DSS, Ahmadu Idris will not be neutral in the 2019 general elections and we call for his immediate redeployment.”
“And we also call on both Local and International Election Observers to take special interest in Kaduna state elections.”