The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State has raised alarm over the directive given by Governor Dave Umahi for official vehicles of PDP local government chairmen in the state to be retrieved for allegedly refusing to decamp with him to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The PDP has also condemned the order compelling political parties to obtain permission before holding meetings in the state.
Recall that the governor recently left the PDP to the APC citing injustice in the main opposition party.
Raising the alarm in a statement by Ebonyi PDP Publicity Secretary, Silas Onu, which was made available to the media in Abuja on Monday, the party called on all security agencies and the International Community to take note of the order given by the state government to executive local government chairman to seize the vehicles from the party chairmen where such party leaders refused to defect to the APC.
The PDP maintained that this is a call to anarchy as the vehicles are not the property of Ebonyi State Government and cannot be treated as such.
“To attempt forcefully confiscating the property of a political party is the highest show of political intolerance and a demonstration of lack of regard for democracy,” the statement said.
It added: “The People’s Democratic Party condemns, in totality, this call to anarchy and outright invitation for crisis. It is enough that our State Secretariat has been unlawfully sealed.
“In the same vein, the government has also directed that political parties in Ebonyi State must seek permission and approval from Local Government Chairmen before holding their political meetings. This is unimaginable, it is unbelievable that it is happening in a democratic nation. Is this political censoring?
“Since when has part of Nigeria become under a military or dictatorial rule? This is a clear sign of the failure of democratic governance. We call on the Governor to desist from planting the seed of destroying democracy in Nigeria or any part thereof.
“No political party requires the permission of any other political party in order to hold their political meetings. We know that this directive is targeted at the PDP meeting scheduled to hold in Edda and we are not deterred by this clear act of intimidation.
“Finally, the use of official security details to intimidate perceived political opponents is condemnable and we call on the Inspector General of Police to call all policemen in the Governor’s detail to order with immediate effect.
“No leader will seek to stop a philanthropist from distributing food and clothes to the needy. The deployment of soldiers and ADC to the Governor in a desperate bid to truncate the charitable event hosted by Ebere & Anyi Chuks Foundation in Isu the 1st January 2021 is unbecoming and uncharitable. This trend is becoming a permanent feature in Ebonyi State as official intimidation seems to be the best form of governance.
“We have all spent the holiday with harassment on a daily basis and needless acts of overt intimidation and we have phone messages urging violence and attacks on harmless citizens who aren’t of the same political party with the Governor.
“Our evidence abound and we are still collecting more for a robust and factual petition to the President and all foreign leaders – no one will be allowed to drag Ebonyi State into crisis.”
The PDP pointed out that even though it is a peace-loving political party, “but will naturally defend ourselves if pushed to the wall.”