Text of Press Conference By the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Presented by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, On Matters of Urgent National Importance, Today, Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
Gentlemen of the Press, our dear nation is now passing through her darkest hours. Our constitutional democracy is under severe attack. Agents of fascism are on the prowl. As we speak, Nigeria, as a nation is being pushed to the brinks and personal freedom of citizens under our constitution is no longer guaranteed.
Today, in our country, there is an orchestrated plan by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government to use the state apparatus of power to coerce, emasculate and effectively decapitate opposition and other dissenting voices, foist a one-party state and push a self-succession bid for President Muhammadu Buhari, seeing that their chances of winning the presidential election gets slimmer by the day.
Currently, the APC has fully commenced a major onslaught on leaders and key voices in the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), particularly our state governors, opposition leaders in the National Assembly as well as our presidential hopefuls.
You are already aware of the numerous exposed plots by the APC and its Federal Government to frame up and humiliate the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, as well as PDP governors, particularly, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his Ekiti state counterpart, Governor Ayo Fayose.
This is in addition to advanced plots by the Federal Government to clampdown on key leaders of the party and begin to drop in public places, alleged confessional statements made under duress in the desperate attempt to achieve a pre-determined end of validating the bandying of corruption allegations against members of the PDP.
We have also been made aware of a special presidential committee put up by the APC Federal Government to persecute our leaders. Already, no fewer than 28 cases have been filed based on trumped up charges. Also we are privy to series of clandestine meetings between agents of the APC and some compromised judicial officers to get conviction at all cost.
In the same vein, we are in the know of plots to embarrass credible individuals, particularly in the PDP, known or perceived to be interested in contesting the 2019 Presidential election, having realized that their party, the APC, is finally stuck with a very unpopular and rejected Presidential candidate, who can no longer command the support of Nigerians.
We also want to bring to the attention of the international Community that in its desperate attempt to win election, the APC-led Federal Government is stopping at nothing, including resort to undemocratic proclivities.
The world is already aware of the unrelenting Gestapo style of persecution, arrests, detention and trial of opposition members as well as perceived opponents of the government, including innocent business concerns, under the guise of war against corruption.
We are not opposed to the fight against corruption, which, of course, was started by our party, through the establishment of credible anti-corruption institutions. We however demand that prosecutions must be done in a credible, transparent, legitimate and constitutional manner. We will not allow the persecution of our members under the guise of the fight against corruption.
This is in addition to a dangerous plot to arrest and detain members of the civil society, opinion leaders, the media and other professionals on trumped up charges of alleged politicization of security issues in the country, using compromised security and judicial officers.
In the light of the above, the repositioned and rebranded PDP, under the new leadership, rallied by the Nigerian people, wants to state unequivocally and in the strongest possible term that it will not in any way fold its arms and accept any attempt by the APC and the Federal government to attack or undermine any of our leaders or members, or supporters at any level of political engagement.
Let it be known to all that this is a repositioned PDP that cannot be cowed and that we are more than able, willing and overtly ready to use all means practical and available within the ambits of the law and the principles of democracy to stiffly resist and stop the APC and the Federal Government in this evil scheme.
The PDP will no longer allow anybody to tarnish any of our elected and appointed officials, particularly our state governors and leaders in the National Assembly and members of our Working Committees at the national, zonal, state and even at the grassroots levels and will do all within our laws to protect them.
We know that our governors, especially Governor Wike and Governor Fayose have been marked because of their principled position against the obvious incompetence, corruption and undemocratic credentials of the Buhari administration, for which Nigerians have been subjected to the worst form of suffering in the last three years.
The PDP is proud of all our governors, particularly, on their achievements in the delivery of democracy dividends to the people and will not allow anybody to distract them.
We want to therefore state that if this trend does not stop, we will not hesitate to call up our members and supporters in their millions in the collective effort to protect our democracy, using legitimate means provided by the laws of our land.
It is obvious to all that the failed and rejected APC and its Federal Government are mortally afraid of the repositioned PDP that has become the new platform upon which Nigerians are now rallying to rescue our sinking ship of state from the APC at the 2019 general elections.
This nation belongs to all us, we are equal stakeholders and it lies in the hands of the electorate to decide who holds any elective office at any level and not the dictatorship of the government of the day.
We therefore directly caution the Buhari administration to desist from this attempt at foisting a siege mentality on the political class and citizenry as if we are under a military regime.
In the same vein, we urge the judiciary and all security agencies to protect their independence and resist all attempts by the APC to set them against the provisions of the law and the will of the people.
Finally, while we invite the international community to note the ugly trend in our dear nation under the APC, we charge all Nigerians not to despair but to continue to focus on their collective rallying on the platform of the PDP to achieve our collective quest to end the APC misrule and return the nation to the path of democracy, national cohesion, adherence to the rule of law and prosperity, come 2019.
Thank you for your attention.