The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government to desist from any plan to rig the forth coming 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State, threatening that any attempt to twist the people’s will in favour of their candidate will stall the general election in 2019.
Uche Secondus gave the warning while inaugurating the party’s campaign committee for the Ekiti election chaired by the Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel.
While urging the people to ensure that leadership of the state remains with the PDP, he alleged that the opposing party is planning to violate the will of the people.
“Let me warn that if there is any attempt to thwart the will of the people in Ekiti state, there may be no general election and the entire democratic process will be endangered.
“Ordinarily, given the enviable achievements of our party in the state in the area of delivering democracy dividends to the people in the last three years under the leadership of the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum, Peter Ayodele Fayose, Ekiti should be a smooth contest for us, but intelligence available to the party shows that the APC is planning in their own words to ‘capture Ekiti at all cost.’
“Part of the cost has started manifesting with the shooting carried out at their own rally on Thursday last week which happened to be a continuation of the violence they launched on themselves and the state since their primaries last month,” Secondus said.
The PDP chairman also noted that the South-West State of Ekiti has not known peace due to the desperation of APC to win the poll, saying “because of their desperation, a hitherto peaceful state of Ekiti has been turned into a war zone for a party which electoral presence in the state is very negligible.”
He added that the calibre of names drawn up as members of the committee shows, in an unmistaken terms, the importance the party attaches to the Ekiti cause, stressing that after July 14, the PDP would turn its attention to Osun State governorship election coming up in September.
The PDP boss tasked the APC to learn a lesson or two about the Second Republic when attempt was made to compromise the outcome of an election.
“I recall drawing the attention of APC recently to the negative aspect of our history associated with trying to obstruct the will of the people as willingly expressed through the ballot box.
“I tried to let them know that Ekiti state shares in that history when the then second republic ruling National Party of Nigeria, NPN attempted to use their federal controlled might to hijack power from the then Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, that was on ground in the old Ondo state for which Ekiti was part of.
“Men of wisdom had long told us that the easy way to repeat history is to refuse to learn from it. I charge APC leadership to take time and read our political history and know that the route they are headed are akin to that of the NPN days if not worse,” he added.
Secondus also called on the international community to what he called the harassment of opposition figures by the Buhari government, saying the country has never had it so bad in recent years.
“In this country, the opposition and anybody holding dissenting views from that of the small clique of persons hanging on to power today have been marked either to be framed up for criminal offenses or for corruption.
“A sitting governor in Rivers state, Nyesom Wike had cried out recently that there is attempt to assassinate him but his case was treated with levity only for Nigerians to witness a high profile failed assassination attempt in Ekiti last week at a rally.
Responding on behalf of the committee, Governor Udom challenged APC governors to showcase their achievements alongside their PDP counterparts, adding that doing so would avail the electorate the opportunity to choose which party would better serve their interest.
Other members of the committee are former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Eddy Olafeso (Secretary), former Kano State governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, ex-Rivers State governor, Celestine Omehia, Senator Biodun Olujimi amongst others.