The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is intimidating its members across its controlled states.
The national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, made this known while speaking to journalists at the party secretariat Monday night.
This allegation is coming a few hours after the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Monday sacked four more lawmakers who defected from the PDP to the APC.
The affected lawmakers are Nse Ntuen, who represented Essien Udim State Constituency; Otobong Ndem, Mkpat Enin State Constituency; Victor Udofia, Ikono State Constituency; Gabriel Toby, Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency.
The national chairman described this development as disturbing.
“(There is) a very disturbing development in a couple of states where the PDP is misusing the state instrument – using the police to undermine the basic democratic rights of APC members – in those states where they have governors.
“A typical example is what has happened today in Akwa Ibom State where the commissioner of police, colluded with the governor to forcefully (remove) APC members out of the state house of assembly.
“The commissioner went beyond (his line) of duty to aid and abate what is clearly wrong. It is not the business of the police to assist political authorities to effect their own biases with regards to the composure of the house.”
The chairman believes the police had no part to play in the issue, noting that the judiciary is there for such purposes.
“I think we do have a judiciary. We have law and order and the responsibility of the police is to obey court order, not to go beyond it. If a governor wants extra legal assistance from the police, the commissioner is not supposed to oblige, but that is what has happened in Akwa Ibom State.”
Other things he said the party is experiencing is the alleged attack, assassination and intimidation of its members, which he does not see as normal.
“The state chairman of APC in Enugu State narrowly escaped assassination. In Rivers State, two members of the house of assembly were abducted and one of those APC leaders kidnapped. His dead body had just been found.
“We do not believe these are normal crimes, although no crime can be said to be normal. We are beginning to wonder, the way (in) which our party leaders, particularly in states (where) we do not have governors – the way they come under sustained attacks, violence, bullying and assassination – for me, these are very dangerous signals.”
The chairman therefore noted that the NWC has resolved to appeal to all those who are involved in this political process that they must respect the right of every Nigerian to belong to a party of his choice.
“Somehow, the opposition party has been the loudest in pointing at what they call crisis within (the) APC and I find it very exciting that the opposition is loudest in saying I should resign as chairman of my party.
“When armed robbers are demanding the resignation of an Inspector General of Police, then you know you need to keep that commissioner in office but when armed robbers are celebrating the appointment of a commissioner or demanding that he retains his office, you better go and look at who that commissioner is, or IGP,” he said.
“I believe that (the) APC will win the election and all those ‘decampees’ who decamped because they wanted to be president, they will find out that while they were gunning to (kill) an elephant, their own people didn’t think that they deserved an antelope and they will punish them with their PVCs.”
The party therefore said it expects that the government would investigate it, (the Akwa Ibom National Assembly crisis) and the police commissioner would be brought to justice.