LAGOS—The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as despicable, shameful and unacceptable the unwarranted resort to violence by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at last weekend’s local government election in Akwa Ibom state.
The Party decried the high level of hooliganism and electoral malpractices allegedly perpetrated by the Action Congress which resulted in loss of lives.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh regretted that anti-democratic practices as witnessed in the latest electoral violence in Akwa Ibom State have become the signature tune of the ACN and warned the Party to desist forthwith.
According to the PDP, “it is unfortunate the ACN has reconstructed the word “Action” in their name as being synonymous with war, fighting, blackmail, abuse and intimidation.
“The ACN has relied on these archaic, barbaric and guerrilla tactics to gain undue political advantage in the past.”
The PDP warned “that this tactics will no longer work starting with the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.” ”This is a promise”, the PDP said.
Chief Metuh further said the ACN has a history of violence as was evident in Ondo state earlier this year when one of the chieftains of the Party publicly threatened the Labour Party with more violence following a day of violent clashes between supporters of both parties in Akure.
He also averred that different communities in Edo State are witnesses to threats and abusive statements of Governor Adams Oshiomhole in his campaign rallies where he ceaselessly threatens fire and brimstone in a manner devoid of decency and diplomatic finesse expected of someone occupying an exalted leadership position.”
“The PDP is shocked by statements such as ‘Edo state will burn if the ACN does not win’, as is being constantly threatened by Governor Oshiomhole.”
“This is not what the good people of Edo State deserve at this critical time when they are yearning for a change, a change that will restore the lost glory of their state,” the PDP spokesman said.
Seriously frowning that the ACN has taken the incidence of violence notches higher, PDP stated that most Nigerians are aware that the leadership and members of ACN are always at home with political violence which has often consumed the states where their presence is strong, especially during elections. This culture of violence was evident in Ekiti, Oyo and other ACN controlled states where dozens of people were killed in election related violence in the recent past. According to the PDP, “just last weekend, the ACN senatorial primaries in Ekiti turned a platform for its members to exhibit their usual trademark -fighting and maiming in a pathetic show of shame.”
The PDP called on all Nigerians to reject the ugly trend of violence which was a significant factor in the fall of previous republics. Said the PDP, “we will continue to promote peace and fairness in the conduct of internal and external elections and we enjoin the ACN to learn from our great Party. We believe that the outcome of any election is not as important as the security of human lives. That will always remain our focus”.
“It is on this note that we narrow this clarion call to the good people of Edo State to totally reject the desperate ambition of some rascals to import a culture of violence and destruction to their peaceful communities. We urge Edo people to ignore various threats of violence by the ACN and feel free to choose the best candidate who will lead you in the next four years for you deserve nothing but the best”. The statement said the PDP has offered to Edo people, a candidate who is decidedly the best, whose transparent track record in public and private endeavours cannot be matched.
“The PDP also wishes to use this opportunity to call on the relevant security agencies do everything possible to ensure a peaceful and transparent election and protect the lives and property of Edo people from the ever rampaging and blood- thirsty ACN .” The party also called on the election monitors and observers to brace up to the challenge of the governorship election in a manner that would stand the test of time.