From NNAMDI OKIYI in Umuahia
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Abia State has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to end their onslaught against perceived opponents of the federal government.
They made the calls on the heels of media reports on alleged freezing of the accounts of the PDP Vice Presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi and the arraignment of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, among others.
The current onslaught against perceived opposition members by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled federal government, according to those who spoke to journalists in Umuahia, was a sign that the end has come for the ruling APC which they accused of trying to gag the opposition.
Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State, Sir Don Ubani, observed that, “When hostilities of this magnitude, start rearing their heads up, you know the end has come.
“You know this is democracy and for any government that is elected to resort to this crude manifestation of illegalities and hostilities, it means that such a party has lost grip of the masses.
“So, what APC is doing is a panic measure. And they believe they can now use brute forces to humiliate the opposition but it has never worked. The more they do this, the more the opposition is endeared to the masses.”
“Come to think of it! Why on earth should a ruling government freeze the account of a person like Mr. Peter Obi, one of the best political characters, one of the best political minds we have in this country? Who amongst them has the record of Peter Obi?
“This is a man who governed very well: no civil servant was owed, no pensioner was owed, no contractor was owed and above all, there were lots of infrastructural and economic developments in the state. And while he was leaving, he left at least, N75 billion in the treasury of the state.
“This is a man who had become a multi-billionaire before delving into politics. This is the simplest personality Nigeria has ever produced. Why on earth should they go to freeze his account?
Ubani said that this was a sign that APC has lost focus and lost touch the realities of our time, adding, “it simply means that its end has come” for the party.
Also, the Abia State PDP Youth Leader, Iro David, expressed displeasure with the EFCC action against Obi, echoing the views of Ubani that Obi was a clean person.
“Everybody knows, and it is on a good record, that the Vice Presidential candidate for PDP has been a very transparent man and up till now, nobody knew him, nobody associated him with any fraud until recently when we were astonished with this EFCC saga.
“On that of the NBA President, the man has come up to say that what he was being charged to court for was his professional fees paid to him for services he rendered to the Akwa Ibom State government.
“So, for EFCC to dabble into issues of professional fees, all in the name of satisfying the APC government is very unfortunate for Nigeria as a whole. What we are seeing today is no more politics, it is killing the nation. We are retrogressing, we are going very backward,” David said.
He said current political events in the country call “for every concerned Nigerian, the international community, everybody, to stand up in defence of democracy in Nigeria as the APC is employing every tactics to perpetuate itself in power beyond 2019.”
“My take is that it is rather very unfortunate that APC, the ruling party in Nigeria has decided to adopt every approach to silence the opposition. What he or she are doing is very undemocratic which is very condemnable and it is very very unacceptable by every lover of democracy. If we continue that way, it means we will not make any headway in our democratic development.
The Abia Central PDP Youth Leader, Engr. Kingsley Asuoha, also condemned the EFCC’s actions against opposition figures. “ By these actions, the ruling party has conceded defeat and I see it as a kind of rascality in using power and an attempt to truncate our democracy because the President himself is not a democrat. He is just learning the ropes and he is not learning well by virtue of those sycophants around him. It is a ploy to gag the opposition,” Asuoha said.