The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as dastardly, unwarranted and unprovoked, yesterday’s police tear-gassing of some of its leaders, including the President of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and some state governors.
In a statement by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said that no amount of attacks, aggression or acts of intimidation will deter it from confronting and dismantling the “rigging machinery” of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and coast to victory in 2019.
The statement said: “The whole world was shocked when the police physically assaulted, fired teargas cannisters and violently dispersed our party leaders who were on a peaceful protest to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, over the use of police by the APC to rig elections, particularly the September 22, 2018 Osun State governorship election.
“Acting on ‘orders from above’, the police assaulted our elected leaders, including our national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus; Senate President Bukola Saraki; Ekiti Governor, Chief Ayo Fayose; our presidential aspirants, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Bar. Kabiru Tanimu and Mallam Sule Lamido, among others.
“This unwarranted attack has left no one in doubt that our police have finally been turned into a militant wing of the APC, with direct orders to use force to repress opposition and turn our nation into a one party state.
“It has also shown that the police, under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, has officially declared war on the opposition and there is no way our safety is guaranteed under the current police leadership.
“If the police, which ought to protect the people, the law and the democratic process, could show such violent aggression on notable leaders, then they can no longer be trusted with the welfare and safety of regular citizens.
“One can only imagine the level of violence that is being daily unleashed on our citizens by the APC-controlled police.
“It is completely reprehensible that the same APC leaders, including President Buhari, who were allowed to freely hold protests under the PDP administration, could now turn around to approve police brutality and aggression against the opposition.
“We know that the essence of such attacks is to instil fear and siege mentality on the people so as to cow them to submission ahead of the 2019 general election.”