The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the PDP of engaging in violence ahead of next month’s general elections, after many supporters of the APC were shot by gunmen while heading to the inaugural campaign of our presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, in Rivers State on Tuesday.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it is not surprised by published reports that the attack was led by an ex-militant who is a member of the PDP from the Gokana Local Government, because the PDP, realizing it is fast losing ground in Rivers, has become so desperate as to resort to violence against supporters of the ruling party in the state.
It said the attacks, reportedly by thugs working for the PDP along the Bori-Saakpenwa Road in Bori, Khana LGA, followed the same pattern of previous acts of violence directed at the APC, the party’s elected and appointed officials, including Gov. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, as well as its supporters by PDP thugs in the state.
APC said the acts of violence perpetrated against its supporters, some of whom are lying critical ill in hospital, on Tuesday occurred despite assurances by President Goodluck Jonathan as well as PDP Chairman Adamu Muazu that next month’s general elections will be free, fair and peaceful.
The party said PDP officials have apparently been deceiving Nigerians that they intend to run an issues-based campaign, when their party’s stock in trade is bare-faced violence and gangsterism.
”The assurances by the leadership of the PDP ring hollow when thugs affiliated with the party are ambushing peaceful and harmless supporters heading to a campaign rally. It is either the leadership is not sincere in its assurances or it has lost control of the party, which will both be dangerous for the country.
”If the PDP has launched a campaign of violence against the APC this early, only God knows how far the ruling party will go to physically decimate the opposition before, during and after February’s elections. We are therefore calling on all Nigerians and indeed the international community to closely monitor the events during the ongoing electioneering campaign and the elections themselves.
”On our part, we will document every act of violence against our members and supporters, just so that we can show the world, with verifiable proof, which party is indeed the violent one,” it said.
APC said the police must act fast to investigate Tuesday’s attack and bring the perpetrators to justice, in order to prevent acts of violence from marring the forthcoming polls.
Despite the violence perpetrated against its supporters, APC appealed to them not to engage in retaliatory attacks, saying its commitment to a non-violent election remain unshaken.
”We appeal to our members and supporters to remain calm but vigilant, because the forces of darkness will never allow peace to reign. Our stated commitment to a peaceful election is sacrosanct, irrespective of the acts of provocation by the PDP,” the party said.