The All Progressives Congress, APC, on Wednesday raised the alarm over what it described as the desperation of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, led federal government to capture Ekiti State, saying the ongoing clampdown on a section of the media is part of a grand plot to silence Nigerians.
In a statement issued by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the multi-pronged approach commenced with the harassment and intimidation of the people of Ekiti state to prevent them from coming out to vote in the June 21 governorship poll.
“The pre-meditated violence inflicted on innocent and harmless Ekiti people last Sunday by the police, which has now turned itself to PDP enforcers, is aimed clearly at signalling to the people of the state what they should expect before, during and after the forthcoming election”, it said
The APC claimed that the attack is being followed with a clampdown on all those who can challenge the federal government’s planned impunity in Ekiti, starting with the nation’s fiercely independent media.
“The clampdown on the media has nothing to do with Boko Haram or any ‘intelligence’ report. That is a ruse. Journalists do not carry weapons. They only fight with words. In fact, this terror band called Boko Haram has had occasions to threaten the media with attack over their reports exposing the terrorists for what they are. Therefore, the unprecedented and utterly indefensible clampdown on the media is part of a sinister plot that is not unconnected with the elections scheduled for this and next year.
“The PDP-led federal government’s strategy is simple: We must capture Ekiti at all cost, even when we may not have the votes to win the state. After that, we can then dare anyone who alleges rigging or election manipulation to head to court. In the meantime, we must tamper with the freedom of expression and the right to information, of which the media is at the vanguard”, the APC said.
The opposition party said anyone that believes this strategy is far-fetched only needs to look at the groundwork that has been laid for it by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, who picked both the Minister of Police Affairs (Abduljelili Adesiyan) and the Minister of State for Defence (Musiliu Obanikoro) from the South-west.
“This federal government sees the South-west as very critical to the President’s chances of getting re-elected next year, and has thus turned it to a battleground. They are desperate to capture Ekiti and Osun, which they see as the road to the heart of the South-west next year. That explains their desperation about the elections in the two states”, it said.
APC said that the PDP-led federal government shot itself in the foot with the deadly attack on defenceless citizens in Ekiti, including the governor of the state, and then the senseless and irresponsible clamp down on the national media, “the same media that no dictator in the history of Nigeria has succeeded in silencing”.
The party asked “the PDP-led federal government to desist from its satanic plot and allow the people of Ekiti and indeed the people of Nigeria to choose their leaders in free, fair and transparent elections”.