By Nwaorgu Faustinus
The new PDP has expressed dismay and condemnation over the trampling of the rights of thousands of Rivers State people who turned up to welcome visiting leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the 4th and 5th of October, 2013.
The splinter PDP made its feelings known in an online statement sign and issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze.
According Eze, “for two days this week (on Monday and yesterday), the Nigeria Police Force displayed what has, sadly, become its new trademark when it brazenly trampled on the rights of thousands of Rivers State people who turned up to welcome visiting leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC).Thousands of supporters of the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, had sought to throng the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, on Monday, to welcome the APC leaders, who were expected that day, but were barred by policemen acting on the instructions of the controversial Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu”.
The full text of the statement read:
“As things turned out, the visit was eventually postponed, only for the show of shame to repeat itself yesterday morning when the APC leaders finally made the trip.
“The question is: Under what law was the police acting in preventing harmless Nigerian citizens from assembling at the airport to welcome the august visitors that included a former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, APC Interim Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, party leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Bello Masari; Chief Tom Ikimi; former Governor John Odigie-Oyegun of Edo State, and several others?
“Instructively, this happened barely a day after the police in Abuja led by a Divisional Police Officer contemptuously disrupted the Caucus Meeting of the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP). Nigerians may remember that we have repeatedly cried out following the abridging of our fundamental human rights by the police, which has not only illegally sealed our offices across the nation but has also clamped down on many of our leaders. Those who thought we were crying wolf can now see that the opposite is the case.
“That the Nigeria Police maintained with taxpayers’ money has allowed itself to become a tool for oppression in the hands of the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led PDP, the ruling party at the centre, is not only unfortunate but also regrettable.
“We therefore congratulate the House of Representatives for inviting the Inspector General of Police to explain on what directive informed this new unfortunate inglorious role of the Police.
“We commend Governor Amaechi for refusing to be intimidated and for once more demonstrating his affinity with the masses by abandoning his trip to the Government House and joining his supporters to trek the four long kilometres back to the airport to welcome the APC Leadership to the State.
“Nigerians should rise in unison to condemn this descent into anarchy. We meanwhile wish to appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan, who is a good man at heart, not to allow himself to be deceived into approving or tolerating the shocking excesses of the NPF under the watch of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed D. Abubakar. Jonathan should for once learn to call the bluff of enemies of peace who do not wish this potentially great country well.
“Nigeria is the only country we have. Let us, therefore, do all that we can to prevent the looming anarchy as it may sound the death knell of this already troubled country.
“Finally, we commend and congratulate Gov Amaechi for demonstrating to the entire world his political prowess and sagacity by pulling the type of crowd that was mobilised to welcome the APC Leadership in the face of all manners of threats in the hands of some undemocratic minded elements from Rivers State.
“The manner and choice of words by the former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of APC simply position Gov Amaechi as the most outstanding bride of our present day politics and it is very unfortunate that the present leadership of PDP is exhibiting political naivety on his case and instead of facing what Gov Amaechi is but sadly they prefer to work with political neophytes and expired politicians from the State who have through their untoward type of politics succeeded in portraying President Jonathan in bad light to the world and making Rivers State unsafe and unsecured.
“By the crowd that thronged to attend this great event once again indicates that Gov Amaechi is truly the man of the people. We salute the great people of Rivers State for standing behind their great son who have exhibited his love and commitment towards the emancipation and uncommon development of the State”.