The national leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the attack on the presidential candidate of the party President Goodluck Jonathan in Katsina by irate youths suspected to be supporters of the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
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In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party said the attack was “a clear indication that the APC is not ready to dial back on its rabid desire to attain power through violence despite signing a peace pact a week ago in Abuja.
“This brazen attack on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our presidential candidate clearly shows that the APC was never committed to the spirit and letters of the Abuja peace accord which they signed in the presence of prominent Nigerians and international personalities.
“It is unfortunate that while the PDP and other parties are busy ensuring that their members and supporters remain committed to a peaceful electioneering, the APC has been hatching plots to unleash violence on our candidates and members.
“We invite Nigerians, friends of Nigeria and all lovers of democracy to rise in condemnation of this dangerous phenomenon. These early developments clearly demonstrate that the comments and declarations by the leaders of the APC that Nigeria would be thrown into chaos and bloodshed should it lose the February general elections were real.
“We commend the maturity and the ever peaceful disposition of President Jonathan and the leaders of the PDP even in the face of this unwarranted attack,” the statement read.
He however said that the party would “no longer tolerate such acts of violence on any of its members.”
Meanwhile, the APC has condemned in strong terms the reported stoning of the campaign convoy of President Jonathan in Katsina State, saying “violence of any kind is totally unacceptable to the party.”
In a statement signed yesterday in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Jonathan should be free to campaign anywhere in the country without hindrance.
“Even though the attack on the President’s convoy took place a day after the provocative death-wish newspaper advertorial that was put out in the name of the President, nothing justifies the stoning of the President’s convoy anywhere in the country,” Mohammed said.
The APC however restated its commitment to a continuous enlightenment of its members and supporters to eschew violence before, during and after next month’s general elections, and urged other parties to follow suit.
“We consider election as a celebration of democracy, not a do-or-die affair. Whether or not one agrees with the campaign message of any party, engaging in violence negates the very essence of democracy and should be condemned by all,” the APC said.