Ahead of 2019 general elections, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of trying to foist siege mentality on Bayelsa state.
Describing it as security infringement, PDP warned Buhari-led federal government and the APC to immediately steer clear of Bayelsa state as their continued onslaught and siege on the state would spelt doom on the nation.
Addressing newsmen at a world press conference, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, explained that “it is no longer news that the APC, for obvious reasons, has been bent on forcefully taking over the control of oil rich Bayelsa and other littoral states, for which it now seeks to turn them into theatres of war, with the support of certain individuals in control of federal apparatus of power.
“Today, the PDP and the people of Bayelsa state are being pushed to the wall as with the on-going plot by the APC and the Buhari Presidency to bully the people of Bayelsa and politically annex the state, by the use of crude force.”
The party alerted Nigerians of “the current design to use security agencies, particularly the police to browbeat the people, foist a siege mentality on the state, trigger confusion and violence; then create an impression of security emergency with a view to use such as justification for a coordinated invasion, attack and annexing of political structures of the state for President Buhari and the APC ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“In the bid to forcefully seize control of Bayelsa state, the APC is attempting to convert the Police into its violent militant wing, leading to the violations of rules of engagement and putting security agencies on collision course with the people despite potential bloody consequences.
“It may interest Nigerians to know that, in its desperation, the APC has directly influenced the Inspector General of Police into posting eight different Commissioners of Police to Bayelsa state within the space of the last three months just to destabilize the state.
“Some of the Police Commissioners spent less than a week before being pulled out of the state by the police authorities that have unfortunately acceded to the demands of the APC on the deployment of police chiefs to Bayelsa State.”
PDP spokesman pointed out that the change of guard is part of the plan to compromise security architecture of the state and by extension rig the election for President Buhari in 2019.
“This alarming change of guard of Police hierarchy in Bayelsa state is part of the devious plot to compromise the security architecture of the state, orchestrate security uncertainty, instil fear and siege mentality on residents and then seize the political structure in the state so as to pave way for massive rigging for President Buhari and the APC in the 2019 general elections.
“We are privy to the fact that some of the Police Commissioners were changed due to their failures to infiltrate the firm resolve of the people to remain peaceful and determinedly supportive of the development-oriented PDP administration in the state, under Governor Seriake Dickson.”
Ologbondiyan also revealed that the party is aware of series of meetings in Abuja involving certain cabinet ministers, two particular Presidency aides, some APC leaders, some top security officers and certain compromised officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), including a close relation of President Buhari, where plots to destabilize Bayelsa state were hatched and orders handed to the police.
“We have documentary evidence of these meetings and will not hesitate to make them public if the APC fails to steer clear of Bayelsa state,” he said.
The fact remains that the APC knows that it cannot win any election in Bayelsa state as well as other littoral states or any PDP state for that matter. As such, it believes that the only way for them is to use security agencies to frighten Nigerians and break their resolve of ahead of the 2019 polls.
Warning that their assault on Bayelsa will definitely attract very terrible consequences, as it will be firmly resisted by the people, head to head, with every means available, accessible and implementable in the defence of democracy, Ologbondiyan called on Nigerians to counsel the IGP, Ibrahim Idris to thread cautiously and protect his office from politicization.
“Bayelsa remains a stronghold of the PDP and this fact is known to all. The Buhari Presidency and the APC should recall that they tried to forcefully take over the state in 2016 with their ‘penetration plan’ but failed woefully. Bayelsa has not altered its status as a stronghold of the PDP and any attempt to disrupt this order has the capacity to trigger a crisis that is capable of sinking our nation’s economic mainstay.
“As we all know, section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) amply provided that no person shall take control of the government of our nation or any part thereof, except in accordance with the democratic provisions of the law. Therefore, we are not ready, in any way, to cede this statutory provision to anybody no matter the threats.”
Ologbondiyan, however, warned that the nation would not be able to survive another unrest in Niger Delta, cautioning INEC officials and all security operatives, particularly the police, not to allow the APC to set them on collusion course with Nigerians, as such may not augur well with them, both as institutions and individuals.
“Nigerians must note that our country cannot survive another unrest in the Niger Delta, especially when our security agencies are grappling with the worsening insurgency in the North East and prevailing daily violence and bloodletting in various parts of the country,” he said.