The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has, ahead of Taraba State governorship election, raised the alarm over alleged plot by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to cause violence and get elections stalemated and postponed in some strategic states of the federation.
The alarm was raised on Saturday in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan.
The party said of particularly reference were the activities of APC’s governorship candidate in Taraba state, Sani Abubakar Danladi, who was said to have resorted to violence.
The PDP said Danladi had gone violent realising that there was no hope for him and his party in the March 2, 2019 governorship election.
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“It is an incontrovertible fact, known to all, that Taraba State is a long established stronghold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that Governor Darius Ishaku has the undiluted backing of overwhelming majority of the electorate across the state, due to his sterling performance in office.
“Being exasperated and frustrated by the popularity of the PDP and Governor Ishaku, the APC, which is stuck with the most unpopular candidate in the election, is bent at triggering confusion and bloodletting so as to ambush and truncate the electoral process in the state, not minding the human and material damage such portends.
“The PDP has full information of how the APC is working with enemies of Taraba State to inject confusion and escalate insecurity in the state so that the governorship election will be deferred to enable the federal authorities and security agencies have the opportunity to perpetrate the type of massive rigging that took place in Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections in 2018 and award victory to the APC,” PDP stated.
It added that the APC governorship candidate, who it said was allegedly personally well reputed for acts that contravened free and fair elections, had been boasting that he had the backing of the Federal Government and some godfathers in Abuja, who had no stake in the peace, unity and development of Taraba State in the “ignoble project.”
The party stated further: “On Thursday January 17, 2019, the APC, hiding under the guise of campaign unleashed mayhem on Wukari, a major town in Taraba state. Right from Gindin Dorowa, about 40 kilometers to Wukari City, thugs recruited by the APC governorship candidate, went on shooting spree, destroying PDP billboards all the way to Wukari.
“From the Wukari Yam market, APC thugs continued shooting their way into the town as if they were on a mission to conquer the town, while destroying PDP campaign materials including billboards, posters.
“The shooting and unbridling of mayhem continued until they arrived to the city centre and close to the Aku Uka Palace where another political party was also holding a rally, just as they did in Karim on December 26, 2018 during which they prevented the PDP senatorial and House of Representatives candidates from campaigning.
“It is important to note that pandemonium broke out when, in the course of the shooting in Wukari, a member of the PDP was killed. At this point a crowd in sympathy to the victim rushed to the scene; panic took over, a vehicle carrying some APC thugs tried to beat a retreat and in the process crashed into another vehicle and caught fire. Other vehicles, which wanted to rush out of the scene got trapped and were torched from the fire spreading from the already burning vehicle.
“We invite Nigerians to note that the grand plan by Sani Danladi and the APC is to cause confusion during the campaigns since they have no chance of winning the March 2, election.
“This is the reason APC governorship candidate in Taraba State, Sani Danladi, has not signed the peace accord, which was initiated by the Taraba State police command and the INEC to ensure peaceful campaigns and election.
“It is instructive to note that the APC in Taraba State has always been known with political thuggery, for which even other governorship aspirants in the APC had openly accused the party.”
The PDP stated that it wanted the APC, its governorship candidate in Taraba State, Sani Danladi, and their godfathers in Abuja, to note that the people of Taraba State would not surrender their freedom and rights to the APC.
“Let it be stressed that Taraba State as a stronghold of the PDP will never, in any way whatsoever, succumb to the machination of the APC as the people are ready and fully alert to confront and resist the APC and its candidate, with all the means and energy necessary and available in the defence of their mandate which they have freely given to the PDP.
“The PDP insists that the governorship election in Taraba and indeed all states of the federation scheduled for March 2, 2019 will hold on the fixed date. In the same vein, the PDP and the people of Taraba State will never accept any result that does not reflect the reality already expressed by the people.
“The PDP therefore urges the National Peace Committee to note the infractions by the APC in Taraba State and speak out in the interest of peace, particularly given the security situation in the North East, especially now that Nigerians know who to hold responsible, should there be a breakdown of law and order in the state.
“Finally, the PDP charges President Buhari and the APC leadership to counsel their governorship candidate in Taraba State, as well as rein-in their thugs, as there is no way they can have their way in Taraba State. Any move to undermine the resolve of the people, might come with very dire consequences,” the party stated.