The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has condemned the arrest of the former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, by the police for allegedly making an ‘inciting’ comment on an FRCN Kaduna Hausa programme – Hannu da Yawa – saying the arrest may signal an impending clampdown on the opposition by an increasingly jittery Federal Government.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Senator Yerima’s arrest by the police, for saying in a radio interview that there will be a mass protest if INEC refuses to register APC after it would have met all legal requirements, is nothing short of budding fascism.
According to the ACN, Yerima did not say anything extraordinary by threatening a protest, because protests are an integral part of liberal democracy and cannot be wished away or banned by anyone.
“We will like to say, in support of Senator Yerima, that if INEC refuses to register the All Progressives Congress (APC), when all the legal requirements have been met, the protest in Tahrir Square in Egypt will be a child’s play compared to what we will do at the Eagle Square.
“We say this because we are aware that the PDP, which is mortally afraid of the rise and rise of the APC, is behind the phantom African Peoples Congress which has applied to INEC for registration, in an effort to instigate an acronym crisis and give INEC a reason, if it needs any, not to register the All Progressives Congress.
“But we will like to warn that if indeed INEC has not merged with the PDP, as one of our leaders, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, has said, then we do hope that the electoral body – which by the way is not unaware of the All Progressives Congress as the authentic APC – will not succumb to the evil machinations of the apprehensive PDP,” ACN said.
The party said it expects more arrests, investigations by the pliable anti-corruption agencies and other acts aimed at intimidating its leaders in the weeks and month ahead, but warned the FG to make sure it had enough prison space to accommodate those it plans to arrest.