PDP raises alarm over militarisation of S/South ahead gov polls


The Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) has raised the alarm over what it described as the illegal occupation and provocative besiegement of some states in the South South geopolitical zone ahead of the March 9 governorship and state assembly elections.

Specifically, the main opposition party cited Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Akwa-Ibom and Cross River states as places that have been under military siege.

At a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the alleged siege is to further militarise the South South zone where soldiers will be deployed to suppress voters on March 9.

“This is meant to re-enact the massive rigging of polls for the All Progressives Congress (APC), as was done in the widely discredited February 23 presidential election.

“However, the PDP warns, in very unequivocal terms, that those who sow the wind should also be ready to reap the whirlwind”, Ologbondiyan said.

The opposition party spokesman further said it’s clear that after using military to unleash violence, alter results and muscle out fabricated 25 percent ballot for President Muhammadu Buhari across the South South states and other PDP strongholds, the APC now wants to use the military to fight sitting PDP governors, suppress their members and forcefully take over those states.

Continuing Ologbondiyan said: “Nigerians already know how APC leaders from the South South are going around boasting that the military will use violence to give them governorship election triumph, the same way it did during the presidential election, where innocent Nigerians were brutalised and murdered.

“Nigerians are witnesses to how 13 persons were murdered in Akuku-Toru Local Government in Rivers State, in addition to those killed in Ahoada East, Ahoada West and Emohua Local Government Areas during the presidential election.

“Also, the public already knows how the Minister of Transport and the Director General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Amaechi, used soldiers to hold an INEC official hostage, changed the election results and allocated fabricated figures for President Buhari.

“In Akwa-Ibom state, Senator Godswill Akpabio has been using soldiers to suppress and harass the people, in spite of assurances by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, that the military will not be involved in elections

“In Bayelsa state, soldiers were freely used against the people. In the process, the photographer to the State governor was murdered. The Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state was even kidnapped.

“In Brass, East Senatorial district of the state, it was a war situation as the military took over the electoral process and even declared winners. Soldiers were deployed to the remotest villages where the voters were suppressed and results altered in favour of President Buhari.

“Now that it is clear to all that the 2019 election is not between the PDP and the APC, but a war between the state apparatus of power and the PDP. The PDP cannot continue to fold its hands in the face of these killings and suppression of voters by the APC.

“On this note, the PDP, ahead of the March 9 elections, cautions the APC and its compromised security agents to note that the people of the Niger Delta are already hurting over the killings of their compatriots during the February 23 election and any further provocation will be a clear recipe for crisis”.

The PDP restates its commitment to peaceful elections but cautioned nobody has a monopoly of show of strength.

The party said its incontrovertible the South South is a stronghold of the PDP and that the people are fully mobilised for the March 9 elections.