The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has vowed to hold the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government responsible should any harm befall the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu.
The opposition PDP was reacting to the statement issued by Senator Ekweremadu’s media aide, Uche Anichukwu to the effect that the deputy president of the Senate narrowly escaped assassination on his way to the office at about 10:00am between Apo Flyover and Dantata Construction Company’s yard, close to the Old Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, junction in Abuja yesterday.
The suspected assassins, who Mr. Anichukwu said operated in an unmarked, tinted, brand new, white-colored Mercedez Benz AMG E63, “were reportedly chauffeured by a long-bearded light skinned foreigner, apparently a mercenary”.
The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, who spoke with reporters at the party’s secretariat in Abuja Wednesday, described the alleged attempt on Mr. Ekweremadu’s life as a sad reminder that the days of political assassination had returned to Nigeria.
Metuh recalled that the PDP had earlier raised the alarm about threats to the lives of key and outspoken opposition leaders by the APC and its federal government.
“The PDP does not mince words in holding the APC responsible for the Tuesday attempt on the life of the Deputy Senate President”, he said.
The PDP spokesman further said APC leaders had never disguised their bitterness and resentment towards Mr. Ekweremadu, whose only offence he pointed out “is the privilege of being elected as Deputy Senate President, in line with the Standing Rules of the Senate and provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
He also recalled that the party had informed Nigerians that key PDP leaders were being trailed and that the government of the day should be held liable should any of them suddenly become victim of ‘terror attacks’, unexplained accidents, kidnapped or suddenly killed by ‘armed robbers’.
Justifying his allegation that the governing party was behind the assassination attempt on the life of Mr. Ekweremadu, the PDP spokesman said it was shocking that “Senator Oluremi Tinubu, in furtherance of their plan to take over the office of the Deputy Senate President, went ahead at plenary today to occupy his seat and attempted to assume the duties associated with that office”.
Mr. Metuh said the PDP had information that Mr. Ekweremadu was not only the target of assassination under the current government as the APC had plans to assassinate other notable PDP leaders including the Acting BOT Chairman, Bello Haliru, Acting National Chairman, Uche Secondus National Secretary, Adewale Oladipo and members of the National Working Committee, as well as Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, House Minority leader, Leo Ogoh among others.
He said the PDP is aware that “some desperate power-mongers close to President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly those privy to his interest to contest the 2019 presidential election, and who have been reading his body language against the opposition, have gone ahead to establish a killer squad to wipe off strong opposition, deeming such a service to the President
“This killer squad, our intelligence further revealed, has key marksmen recruited from within and outside the country with directives to trail, track down and hit strategic opposition elements and instill fear among PDP members”.
He also said members of the party in the National Assembly had informed the leadership that the government had been approaching and cajoling them to join the APC or risk victimization.
“We therefore want the international community to note this ugly development in our country and hold the government responsible should any unexplained harm befall any PDP leader.
“This government should be held responsible should any PDP leader be visited by ‘armed robbers’.
“The PDP hereby draws the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to this disturbing development as the onus lies on his to come our clear and moderate the political temperature of the country by calling his overbearing party members and security officials to order”, Mr. Metuh said.