The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm over the alleged arrest and persistent harassment of its members in Bayelsa state by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led federal government, using the police as its arrowhead.
The arrest and harassment, according to the APC, was in an attempt to clear the state of all the vestige of opposition ahead of the 2015 general elections.
In a statement issued in Lagos, yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said under the alleged plan, leaders of the APC in Bayelsa, who it said have been
strenuously building the party, will be decimated.
‘’For those who may say this plan is far fetched, Mr. Samuel Ogbuku, the former Chief of Staff to Ex-Bayelsa Gov. Timipre Sylva, who is a key APC leader in the state, has been arrested in connection with a
murder that took place in 2010. Curiously, Mr. Ogbuku, who has been resident in the state and who has no immunity from arrest, is just now being picked up by the police over a murder that took place over three years ago.
‘’Realizing that the suspect whom the police claimed mentioned Mr. Ogbuku’s name in connection with the murder has recanted, hence the under charge can no longer be sustained, the police quickly dragged
him to court on a charge related to cultism. The plan by the police, who arrested Mr. Ogbuku in commando style while returning from a funeral, had been to take him into custody along with Mr Sylva and one Israel Sunny-Goli, but the other two did not attend the funeral.
‘’A democratically-elected President cannot and must not shut the democratic space against the opposition, whether in his home state where he is expected to show leadership by example or anywhere else across the federation. We are therefore calling on the Presidency to stop the harassment and intimidation of our members in Bayelsa State,’’ APC said.
The party said the police in particular must not allow itself to be used to stifle democracy and deny Bayelsa citizens of their constitutional rights to associate freely, warning that any further harassment, intimidation and threat to the lives of its members in Bayelsa will not be tolerated.