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Matawalle: PDP governors decry alleged harassment, intimidation

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, yesterday, condemned what they called harassment and intimidation of opposition governors by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Federal Government.

They predicated their position on the circumstances surrounding the defection of their colleagues to the APC, pointing out that Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle was literally forced to make the move.

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Speaking under the umbrella of the PDP Governors’ Forum, they tasked the Federal Government to face the onerous task of ridding the nation of terrorism, hunger and unemployment, rather than dissipating energy in poaching opposition leaders.

In a statement signed by the Director-General of the Forum, Cyril Maduabum, the governors said: “It is quite distressing and shameful to watch PDP governors and some other stakeholders who are literally forced to join APC being paraded at the Presidential Villa like captured persons, immediately after their acquisition as culprits by the APC.

“Admittedly, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but the immorality of it all is quite nauseating. No principles are involved or invoked. It doesn’t matter whether you are a convicted criminal or a wanted person by security agencies. It doesn’t matter whether you are fingered in various investigations like the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) scam, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) probes, or other accusations of fleecing the nation of billions of naira.”

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They said further: “When Mr. President directly and pre-judicially regretted in his recent interview that Zamfara State is governed by another party other than his own, it was a clear subtle threat to the governor of the state to join him or face consequences.”

They claimed that all sorts of threats had been deployed by “the illegal APC Caretaker/National Convention Planning Committee whose only job seems to be to just lure PDP governors and other PDP stakeholders, abandoning in the process their mandate of organising a national convention.”

The governors said supporting Zamfara and other affected states to tackle insecurity shouldn’t be politicised nor should join APC be a subtle condition precedent for security or other assistance.

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“We remember the infamous statement by the former APC national chairman that once you join APC, all your sins will be forgiven by the powers that be. This appears to be the guiding principle of Mr. President and APC.

“The way and manner APC celebrates the capture of any PDP governor or stalwart, you would think that a major Boko Haram or insurgent terrorist leader has been neutralised,” the party said.

According to the governors, “If Mr. President or APC can spend 10 per cent of the energy they use in wooing PDP governors and stalwarts in tackling the ravaging incidents of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, insurgency, herders/farmers conflicts, separatist tendencies, or in building infrastructure, providing food, healthcare, education and tending to the general wellbeing of Nigerians, our country would be a better place.”

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