The national leadership of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government of instigating violence in Rivers State in order to justify its push for the declaration of a state of emergency in the oil-rich state.
This claim was contained in a statement on Thursday by the national publicity secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, in Abuja.
The opposition party, however, warned that “dire consequences would follow any attempt by the APC to push its plot to impose a state of emergency in the oil-rich state”.
Metuh disclosed that the PDP had also rallied all its formation in the state to stiffly resist by all means necessary in a democracy, any move by the APC to scuttle tomorrow’s national and state assembly rerun elections in the state.
“The party is privy to a grand design by the APC to orchestrate violence in the state with a view to truncating the elections, having realised that the PDP and its candidates are more popular and ready to win overwhelmingly in all the reruns.
“We are aware that the orchestration of violence is designed to serve as stimulus for the planned imposition of a state of emergency to enable the APC forcefully take over the state which it failed to get through the ballot box. We also know the design to unleash violence is behind the recent infamous call by APC spokesman in Ondo state, Omo’ba Abayomi Adesanya for emergency rule in Rivers state.
“What else, apart from the execution of this plot explains the complains from our candidates and members in Rivers state of constant threats by partisan security operatives as well as the recent gale of arrests, attacks and killing of PDP supporters in the state?
“But let it be known that Rivers state is a stronghold of the PDP and that such profane quest would be squarely and comprehensively greeted with intense resistance and very dire consequences.
“Our position is guarded by the fact that we remain a responsible and law-abiding party committed to the sanctity of our electoral process, the interest and will of the Nigerian people. Besides, we have the numbers and the people of Rivers state are solidly behind us.
“It is on this note that we totally welcome President Muhammadu Buhari’s warning to those instigating violence and causing mayhem in Rivers state. It is our belief that the president’s warning is more directed to APC supporters who have shown unique thirst for violence.
“The hallmark of democracy is the inalienable rights of the citizens to freely choose their leaders; vote and be voted for, and we believe this right must be fully protected at all times.
“While we expect the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use Saturday’s polls to redeem its image by ensuring that the elections were not only credible but also conclusive, we support the people of Rivers state in their demonstrated resolve to stand up and use all lawful means necessary in a democracy to defend their votes in the reruns as well as protect the state government they voted for”.