Sokoto State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the incessant harassment, intimidation, molestation, unlawful arrest and detention of its members, saying that the arrested members were not arraigned at any court of law for over a week.
Addressing a press briefing in Sokoto State by HON. Abdullahi Yusuf Hausawa, PDP State Publicity Secretary said they have lost confidence and trust in the Nigerian Police.
“The essence of the press briefing is to bring to the notice of the general public that from all indications the Nigerian Police have become partisan, segregative and partial by dancing to the tune of the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) only and playing their cards at will.
“Imaging the Nigerian Police coming all the way from Abuja, the FCT to Sokoto with just no mission other than that of illegal apprehension of our members who were transferred to Abuja without charging them for committing any offence after staying in incarceration and unpleasurable confinement for more than a week.
“The Police use of force to suppress the opposition in Sokoto state through incessant arrests and detentions has becomes so alarming in the state, The Police have now turned into tools of suppression, persecution and fear instilling in the people of our dear state.
“The use of Special Anti-armed Robbery Squad (SARS) to operate in commando style of arresting and detaining our supporters for two weeks without trial or taking them to court is against the rule of law and due process.
“We will like to remind the IGP that, we will not refrain from our firm stand to ensure justice and fairness to our teeming party supporters without fear of any intimidation or persecution from the sponsors of campaign of calumny against our party, the personality of our Governor and the good people of Sokoto state”, it stated
It further added that “We are aware that, the teams sent to Sokoto state to arrest and whisk away some of our supporters are part of the Special Squad that was allegedly formed by the Inspector General of Police to arrest any member of the general public that is opposing the All Progressive Congress, APC or the federal government.
“We will use all constitutional and legal avenues to fight for our rights through freedom of association, political expression and movement. No amount of intimidation and harassment can frighten and deter us from working very hard to realize our electoral plans of ensuring that all our candidates for the 2019 polls are successful.
“We are saying so, because we have heard in clear terms, that President Muhammadu Buhari has promised fairness, equality and justice among all Nigerians without fear or favour, affection or ill will, different from the acts of victimization and injustice being perpetrated by the Police.
“Sadly and ironically, while our citizens, including our dear party supporters are being robbed and attacked daily by some group of sponsored and covered miscreants around the state capital, our Policemen have now turned into partisan lot by not arresting or preventing such criminals; but have become tools of intimidation and persecution of innocent peace oriented people.
“Due to their partisanship, we can reasonably say that some of the Policemen in the state are collaborating with these criminals to inflict fear into the minds of innocent peace loving people of Sokoto state.
“It is very disheartening that the Nigeria Police is turning into an appendage of destruction and tension infliction; and that they have been used by the APC leadership through the former Governor of Sokoto state, who is a serving Senator to intimidate our teeming supporters after his failure in misleading the people of Sokoto that he is the people alpha and omega. He is so desperate in ensuring that he creates political turmoil and tension in the state by using the office of the IGP to do his bidding.
“The Police here in Sokoto state have not been impartial on several instances. Just few days ago, it was reported that, the IGP has approved the bidding of APC in Sokoto state through the transfer of one of the hatchet men of former Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko from Kano to head the Mobile Police unit known as MOPOL 7 in Sokoto.
“The officer in question who is an indigene of Sokoto state has served previously as a Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the then Governor Wamakko during his eight years tenure, He was allegedly part of the Police officers accused of unleashing terror through the sponsorship of miscreants to attack and arrest supporters of the opposition parties then.
“Such display of acts of impunity and abuse of law was a very common issue under the watchful eyes of the then former governor Wamakko in Sokoto state.
“Therefore, the party in the state and our teeming supporters as law abiding citizens can no longer fold our arms and watch as the Police are arbitrarily arresting and framing up criminal charges against our innocent and helpless peaceful party supporters.
“We hereby attach all the copies of letters send to the Police as complaints against the rampant cases of attacks and threats against our innocent party supporters and our offices.
“We are ready to use all legal available means to fight back and ensure justice to all our members in order to promote peaceful co-existence, cohesion and overall development in the state and our nation in general”.
The press briefing was supported by other interest groups in the state as follows-
SOKOTO STATE PDP MOBILISATION Groups
– Northern PDP Youths Forum
– PDP Youths Alliance, Sokoto State
– PDP Mobilisation for Peace, Sokoto State
– Sokoto state New PDP Media Forum
– PDP Youths Ambassadors, Sokoto State
– PDP Women Mobilisation Alliance
– House-To-House Mobilisation Vanguard
– PYOMI PDP Sokoto state
– Mutawalle Lafiya Sak Forum