By-Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt
The Social Democratic Party SDP in Rivers State has alleged that plans are on to arrest many of its leaders ahead of the forthcoming elections.
The governorship candidate of the party, Sen. Magnus Abe gave hint of the plans Tuesday in Port Harcourt during the inuaguration of the SDP Campaign Council at the party’s Freedom House headquarters in the state capital.
He said the arrests, which would be based on frivolous alligations and fictitious petitions were part of plans by the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in the state to intimidate and harass the electorate who would want to vote the party to desist from coming out on election day.
He stated that Rivers state was going through difficult times occasioned by the lingering fuel scarcity, the problems of the non-availability of cash saying; “Rivers state is in a difficult situation, if you now add that to the sponsored violence, intimidation and harassment that we have been witnessing at political campaigns all across the state, you will agree with me that Rivers state is going through very very difficult times as it stands”.
He added; “I have received very credible reports that names of members of the SDP across the state have been compiled and frivolous allegations and fictitious petitions have been been compiled and arrangements have been concluded with some security agencies who are acting more like the armed wing of the PDP than civil servants that are being paid by the government and people of Nigeria to provide security for all Nigerians”.
He advised party members to be very careful because the situation which he described as an assult would begin any moment, “but what I will say to Rivers people, is the final solution to the challenges of the state is at hand”.
“All we have to do is to agree that no matter what happens, on the 25th of February and on the 11th of March, when the elections will hold all of us that are alive, that can work and breath, we must come out on that day and vote”.
He explained that the strategy of the enemies of the party is to target those who they think that if they are not around other people would not be bold enough to come out on election day urging the people to come out and vote even if they hear that he has been arrested.
“All we have to do is to prove to Nigerians that nothing, no intimidation, no harassment, no violence will stop us from coming out to cast our votes”.
Speaking after the inuaguration of the campaign council, the Director General of the council, Sen. Wilson Ake, said that the event marked the beginning of the major responsibility to go out there and tell the people of Rivers state that the time has come for Rivers people to turn their chest at the roof top, that finally, the answer to the question they have been asking has finally been found, and that answer is Sen. Magnus Ngei Abe.
He said that members of the council were proud, highly elated to be proud of this history making moment and assured of their commitment and seriousness and belief that the battle has already been won.
He told Abe; “Why we happily accepted to work for you because, Rivers state is in a terrible state, Rivers state is on a wheel chair, and they’re looking for oxygen to give to a dying state and we know that you are a qualified doctor, th best surgeon that will dysect the problem of Rivers state get out the worrying diseases, and do a super stitching that will give Rivers state a new health, strength, beginning and new hope for the children.
“We know your made for this job. There are many persons out there, some even have such money to give away, but we believe that eating today and forgetting tomorrow will be a disastrous mistake for all of us”.