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2023: Attacks on PDP supporters portend danger for Democracy- Atiku

2023: Attacks on PDP supporters portend danger for Democracy- Atiku

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar on Monday condemned the attack on the party’s supporters at the ongoing presidential campaign rally of the party in Kaduna State, describing it as a potential danger to democracy in Nigeria.

The Kaduna attacks were allegedly carried out by political thugs

But the PDP flag bearer, in his post on his Twitter, handle on Monday afternoon, Atiku condemned the act and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call all political parties to order to ensure that campaigns and elections proper were conducted in a free and fair atmosphere.

“I have just received emergency reports of attacks on PDP supporters by thugs sponsored to scuttle the ongoing PDP campaign rally in Kaduna State. This is undemocratic and against the Peace Accord all parties signed up for just a few weeks ago.

“I urge President Muhammadu Buhari to call on all parties to call their supporters and members to order and to ensure that campaigns, just as with the elections themselves, are kept free, fair and safe,” Atiku wrote.
He also condemned attacks in Zamfara State, describing such “coordinated attacks” on the PDP members were a violation of the rights of Nigerians to peaceful assembly

“I condemn these attacks in entirety because it is an attempt to scuttle the lawful right of Nigerians to assemble peacefully and a direct attempt to suppress the legitimate campaigns of the PDP in the state,”

Read also: Thugs attack PDP campaign rally in Kaduna

He reassured the PDP members in Zamfara State of his support and expressed his condolences to those who lost their friends and loved ones and also commiserated with other victims of the attack.

The attacks did not come as a surprise, as the party had an alert over plans by some hoodlums to attack supporters during the Kaduna rally.

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Monday also condemned the attacks, describing it as” a sad development and attempt to return Nigeria to the dark days of violent politics.”

Saraki also urged politicians not to do anything that will undermine the success recorded in the country’s quest for stable democracy ahead of the 2023 general elections

The party on Sunday, directed the members to discontinue fears of possible attacks as the party holds its Presidential campaign rally in Kaduna on Monday, with an assurance that the party remains undeterred.

A statement by the Party’s Spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, on Sunday said the party, under the Atiku/Okowa Presidential ticket and the Iyorchia Ayu leadership, is undeterred by the exposed plots by certain anti-democratic forces who are uncomfortable and unhappy with the success of the on-going reconciliation efforts, stability and popularity of the Party, to cause tension and disrupt the Party’s programmes in Kaduna State.

The statement added that the Party’s “position is predicated on information at our disposal of how these anti-party elements who are not happy with the campaign successes achieved by the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu and other Party leaders, have concluded plots to orchestrate tension and create an impression of crisis within the PDP by recruiting thugs to protest and disrupt scheduled programmes of the PDP in Kaduna State, tomorrow, Monday, October 17, 2022”

Ologunagba said the PDP has information of how these individuals, who were frustrated by the huge success of the PDP Presidential Campaign Flag-Off in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State capital last Monday, are bent on creating a situation to discredit the PDP Presidential Campaign Rally scheduled for tomorrow in Kaduna State.

According to him, “These anti-party interests plot to stage a protest tomorrow in Kaduna State with unfounded allegations, claims and selfish demands aimed to embarrass the National Chairman as well as discredit the integrity and decisions of top organs of the Party including the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Board of Trustees (BoT).

“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP is undeterred and standing shoulder to shoulder with the good people of Kaduna State who are set for our Presidential Campaign Rally, which will hold peacefully in Kaduna State on Monday, October 17, 2022.

He assured that the “Party will never be distracted from its mission to Rescue, Rebuild and Redirect our nation from the misrule of the All Progressives Congress (APC); the reason Nigerians are rallying with Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.

“The PDP salutes and appreciates the people of Kaduna State for the overwhelming reception that they have accorded our Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, his running mate, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and other Party leaders who have been in Kaduna State in the past two days ahead of Monday’s Presidential Campaign Rally.

The Party, therefore, implored all members, the teeming supporters and the public to be at alert, “note and resist these unpatriotic elements whose heinous plots has the capacity to cause a breakdown of Law and Order, undermine our democratic processes and derail the smooth conduct of the 2023 general elections.

The PDP Spokesman, therefore, called on security agencies to immediately set in motion machinery “to forestall any attempt by anybody or group to disrupt the programmes of our Party particularly given the consequential effect of such on our democratic process and our nation’s corporate existence”