Melaye: Buhari turning Nigeria into police state, says PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday accused the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency of turning Nigeria into a police state.

It said that with the continued lockdown of the residence of Senator Dino Melaye by the police, the Presidency was turning Nigeria into a police state, where those opposed to Buhari’s re-election were treated like enemies of the state.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the police continued siege to Melaye’s residence showed that the police under Buhari had allegedly become an instrument of oppression to subjugate dissenting voices ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Ologbondiyan, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, said Nigerians should note that the only sin committed by Melaye was his return to the PDP and his forthright stand against the alleged misrule of the Buhari administration.

He stated that the actions of the senator were all well within his rights as a citizen.

Ologbondiyan said, “Since Senator Melaye left the All Progressives Congress,  the Buhari administration has continued to hound and harass him, as well as the members of his family with trumped-up charges, all aimed at taking him out of circulation ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“The PDP has become extremely worried about the safety of Senator Melaye and his family members under police lockdown and charges Nigerians to hold President Buhari and the APC responsible should any harm befall him or any member of his family.”

He added, “This is particularly against the background of Senator Melaye’s outcry that the police planned to arrest and inject him with poisonous substance.

“The PDP hopes that opposition figures such as Senator Melaye will not suddenly become victims of accidental discharge, unexplained assassination or mysterious motor accidents as we move on to the general elections.”

Also, a former Deputy National Publicity of the APC, Timi Frank, has said the ongoing police siege to Melaye’s house is ostensibly to arrest him and keep him out of circulation ahead of the 2019 polls.

 He described the invasion as a part of Buhari’s administration’s latest strategy to forcefully incarcerate vocal members of the opposition in order to the pave way for the APC’s victory in the forthcoming polls.

Frank also raised the alarm that there were plans to arrest the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, ex-Vice President and presidential candidate of the PDP,  Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and all those that matter in the opposition’s hierarchy in the country on trump- up charges.

 According to him, resorting to illegal arrest and incarceration of major opposition figures in the country is a terror tactic already employed by the Buhari’s administration to drive opposition underground.

 Frank in a statement in Abuja on Sunday said the disconnection of Melaye’s public utilities – power and water – amounted to visiting terror on an innocent Nigerian by a state-funded security organisation.

 The police have reportedly said the senator is wanted to answer questions bordering on culpable homicide for allegedly shooting a police officer at one of the checkpoints sometime in July.

 But Frank said, “This is condemnable and unacceptable in a democracy. Earlier in the life of this dictatorial administration, agents of the Department of State Services forcefully gained entrance into the residence of some Judicial Officers in the midnight, all in the name of anti-corruption crusade.

 “The Nigerian police have now taken this impunity a notch higher by disconnecting water and power supply from the house of a federal legislator for no justifiable cause. This is the second time the police would besiege Melaye’s house under the present Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

 “We must all condemn this terrorist act being visited on a Nigerian citizen. Today it is Melaye; tomorrow it may be you or me. Nobody is safe in this country any more.

If you escape being mowed down by criminals and outlaws because of the inability of security forces to protect the people, the same security forces will come after you by breaking your house and disrupting your water and power supply, all in the name of trying to arrest you to face spurious charges.

 “We know that no individual can be above the laws of a society, but when lawful agencies themselves break the law by turning themselves into political instruments of vendetta against perceived opposition figures, then they are invariably preparing the grounds for chaos and anarchy to resign.

 “They are doing this because they don’t want the 2019 elections to hold. They fear defeat and they are seeing defeat. They want to scuttle the elections and blame it on unrest and insecurity.

 “I also urge the international community to note the illegal use of the nation’s security to crackdown on opposition figures by the present administration. I dare say that no amount of intimidation, arrest and persecution will stop Nigerians from voting out Buhari in the coming election. ‘How many opposition politicians police and soldiers go kill?’

 “I hereby call on the international community to prevail on President Buhari to withdraw the police from Melaye’s house and free Deji Adeyanju because we are in a democracy and not a military junta,” he stated.
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