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House of Representatives

PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP caucus in the House of Representatives on Tuesday raised alarm over planned arrest of some key members of the party ahead of 2019 elections.

The PDP caucus alleged that “there is a secret ongoing agenda for the arrest of scores of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) functionaries towards thwarting the party’s build for 2019 elections”.

The caucus in a statement titled “2019: APC Government’s Desperation And Agenda For Politicized Arrests,” and issued by its Deputy Minority Leader, Honourable Chukwuma Onyema the PDP House Caucus lamented that it is very unfortunate that both the ruling party and the government are denying the existence of an agenda which has already been put in motion.

The statement read:  “It is one of those things that the APC government does not want any citizen to talk about at the moment but with ruthless efficiency and a devious Machiavellian determination, the APC government is now using the threat of arrest to intimidate and coerce the opposition.

“Although their party is trying to deny it, the APC government, lacking in genuine democratic ideals and seeing the failure of deceptive change, has begun a desperate programme to bludgeon democratic opposition by arresting key figures in various states.

“In spite of their deceptive denial, we know that they are starting their series of politicized arrests from the North Central Zone, with an audacious plan for the arrest and continuous harassment of scores of PDP loyalists in other zones before 2019.

“Their very frantic preparation for 2019 has become really saddening when such agenda ropes in an institution like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for strong-arm tactics, media trial and timed annihilation of the opposition in desperate preparation for 2019.

“The question needs to be asked again: Has this APC government got the conscience to confess that their ‘Change’ magic wand has not worked?

“A minister in the ‘Change’ government gleefully announced how they got a website for N700 million; trillions spent in the past two years have not impacted positively on people’s lives and there are fears that their usual shoddy implementation could consolidate poverty across the land.

“An unprecedented woeful handling of the economy has resulted into worsening mass depression and unemployment but an insensitive APC Minister claims that they have created seven million jobs as many youth registers for their peanut distribution programme while the high-paying jobs at Central Bank and other places are reserved for APC functionaries’ children.

“Still, they are resolute about acquiring more debt for future generations.

“The globally renown Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Nigeria because the authorities’ efforts to address key structural weakness exposed by the oil price shock by broadening the non-oil revenue base had “so far proven largely unsuccessful” while the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) kicked against the planned sale of critical national oil assets to raise $2 billion, saying it was not in the national interest.

“It is heart-rending that the embarrassing international tragedy involving the s3xual abuse and murder of twenty young Nigerian females on the Mediterranean Sea was only acknowledged by a feeble voice of a presidential aide.

“Yet at all times, the APC government continues to feel haunted by PDP at every turn, seeking to blame all its woes and failures on PDP but it is no surprise that one of the APC top appointees who presided over the killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa publicly acknowledges that the APC government has derailed.

“All people of goodwill must feel concerned that this government seems poised to continue its clueless bumbling from one miscalculation to another, with a desperate hope that government agencies like EFCC can be used for strong-arm tactics against the opposition towards guaranteeing APC and its failed propaganda machinery an undeserved victory in 2019.

“It will not work because no matter what desperate plan they hatch, PDP is coming into power in 2019.

“No one should be deceived or lulled into inaction by the APC denial of their agenda for politicized arrests in the countdown to 2019.

“Genuine democrats must speak up and vigorously demand a preservation of democratic rights as guaranteed by the nation’s constitution and various international protocols; silence is not ideal in the face of wanton oppression by pseudo-progressive forces that rely on coercion and authoritarian tactics in their preparation for 2019 elections,” the statement concluded.

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