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Published On: Fri, Aug 21st, 2020

Villa video: Secondus wants visa restriction imposed on Gambari, Oshiomhole, others

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….Warns against shifting Edo poll

By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has called on the international community to impose visa restriction on anybody found culpable in the purported planned clampdown on members of the opposition parties ahead of the Edo state governorship election slated for September 19, this year.
Secondus’ call came barely 48 hours after the party similarly called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the conversation between his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in a leaked video that went viral few days ago.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, it will.be recalled, had on Tuesday said that the former APC national chairman was heard in the eight seconds video emphatically urging the Chief of Staff to the President on the need to clampdown on certain unnamed Nigerians to achieve political suppression and submission ahead of the Edo election.
He said Oshiomhole was heard saying “arrest, deal with and the whole thing will change”, while Gambari responded saying “ we will go beyond…..”.
Prince Secondus, in an interactive session with journalists at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja, yesterday said both Gambari and Oshiohmole abused public office by using Aso Rock villa to “undermine democracy”.
He pointed out that the party is deeply saddened that under the watch of an elected President, Muhammadu Buhari who is a huge beneficiary of democracy, the nation’s highest seat of power is being used for the hatching of plans to undermine democracy.
The PDP National Chairman further said that the Chief of staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari is such a strategic staff that when he is involved in any underhand thing, the President cannot free himself from it.
This development, he said, is not only shameful but very unfortunate that the nation’s seat of power, housing a democratically elected President, has to be used to plan how to inflict harm on democracy.
Secondus thus demanded heavy sanctions against persons found culpable in the ugly incidence referred to as a national embarrasment.
The National Chairman of the PDP said,
“We wish to also draw the attention of the international community to this gross abuse of planning to undermine Democratic process by critical staff who should defend it.
“We demand appropriate sanction of the individuals involved in this anti -democratic act, they should be given visa restrictions to any democratic countries.
“The PDP is therefore calling on the National Assembly to call for the tape of the video and examine thoroughly its content with a view to acting appropriately.
“The constitution and the Electoral Act is clear on this type of blatant undermining of democracy by clamping down on the opposition”, he said.
Secondus equally alleged that there are several efforts by APC leaders to arm-twist the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to shift the election adding, “all these anti -democratic moves are all aimed at creating a constitutional logjam to disrupt the election because they know they cannot win”.
The PDP, Secondus warned, will remain vehemently opposed to any postponement of Edo and Ondo states governorship elections. September 19 and October 10 should be sacrosanct.
The party therefore called on both the INEC and the judiciary to stand firm in defence of democracy and not yield to the manipulative tendencies of APC and its governments.

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