CNPP describes PDP senator’s arrest as undemocratic
• Seeks International Community’s Intervention
Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) in Kwara State has condemned the arrest of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Kwara South, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, describing it as undemocratic.
Ibrahim was arrested on Thursday in connection with Tuesday’s violence in his Ojoku hometown in Oyun Council of Kwara State. He has since denied involvement in the mayhem, which reportedly left two persons dead.
The coalition of the opposition political parties in the state said Ibrahim’s arrest and detention by the police since Thursday confirmed its earlier position that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government, in connivance with security agencies, planned a clampdown on opposition leaders in the state.
Addressing international election observers in Ilorin yesterday, Kwara CNPP chairman, Alhaji Adebayo Lawal, said the lawmaker’s arrest was part of the plot to scuttle the electoral process in the state and subvert the will of the people.
He called on the international community to intervene and not only ensure the release of Ibrahim, but guard against unlawful arrest of opposition figures in the state.
He, however, said that whether the senator was released before the polls or not, they would prevail on their members to embrace peace, but would sustain their peaceful outcry against alleged injustice.
Adebayo added: “Barely 24 hours to Saturday’s presidential and national assembly elections, officers of the Nigerian Police Force, who were visibly acting on the orders of the presidency, forcefully arrested and detained Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, representing Kwara South, and the candidate of the PDP for the election. Till this moment, the senator, who is a major contender for Kwara South senatorial seat, is yet to be released.
“Similarly, in the past few days, more than 20 members of different opposition parties in the state have been indiscriminately arrested by security agencies and taken to unknown destinations. This same thing happened during last year’s by-election in Irepodun/Oke-Ero/Isin/Ekiti federal constituency, where top members of the PDP and opposition parties were unlawfully arrested on the eve of the election.
“We have received information that the police hierarchy ordered that Senator Ibrahim must not be released, which is a deliberate ploy to keep him out of circulation before and during the elections. This is unacceptable, unlawful, undemocratic and a primitive show of power by a party that is well-known for abuse of power and flouting of court orders with impunity. The desperation of the APC to win elections at all costs portends great danger for our nascent democracy.
“It is unfortunate that a serving lawmaker, who is loved by his people for his sterling performance in the Senate, can be subjected to this kind of inhuman treatment on the unsubstantiated accusation from the APC. If the peace-loving senator is clamped in this manner, our other candidates are also prone to such flagrant abuse of power.”
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