THE All Progressives Congress(APC) Kaduna has commended security agencies for taking prompt action against politicians that have been inciting violence and spreading injurious falsehood in the state.
It will be recalled that the Director of Media and Publicity of PDP, Mr Ben Bako was caught in a video which went viral, instigating people of Southern Kaduna to kill anyone who votes any other party in the coming elections. While, a one time PDP chairman in the state, Rigachikun was also arrested for incitement.
In a statement issued by its chairman, retired Air Commodore Emmanuel Jekada on Thursday, APC reminded ‘’that election campaigns do not confer immunity on politicians. Everyone must respect the law, or face the consequences. The security agencies have a duty to ensure that every politician, no matter the party to which they belong, should conduct themselves lawfully.’’
The APC chairman pointed out that ‘’election campaigns should not be used as a cover to threaten violence or to intimidate people to vote against their conscience, or even to frighten them from turning up to vote. ‘’
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The statement also insisted that elections must be conducted in a peaceful atmosphere, devoid of threats and fear, adding that ‘’citizens must be allowed to cast their votes without fear for the party of their choice.’’
APC also condemned the opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) for its failure to ‘’disown its senior members who were caught on tape inciting violence. ‘’
However, Jekada argued that the opposition ‘’in trying to shield Ben Bako, is clearly telling Kaduna residents that it does not believe in free and fair elections and that as a party, they approve and endorse the incitement to kill citizens who do not vote for the PDP.’’
The statement recalled that Mr Bako was heard ‘’goading his listeners to kill APC supporters in southern Kaduna,’’ arguing that ‘’is the PDP saying that our compatriots in southern Kaduna do not have the right to freely choose a party to support, and to vote for that party without fear?’’
APC also accused the PDP spokesman of lying when he alleged that Kaduna state and federal governments had refused to deploy soldiers to Southern Kaduna, in spite of the intermittent killings in the area.
‘’Contrary to his assertions, the federal government and the Kaduna state government, both controlled by the APC, jointly answered the 30-year old demand for a permanent and enhanced security presence in southern Kaduna. The Nigerian Army in 2017, created an army formation and promptly established a forward operating base in Kafanchan, and another one is slated for the Kachia area.
‘’ In the same year, the Kaduna state government provided facilities to accommodate a new permanent mobile police squadron in southern Kaduna based in Kafanchan. These decisions and actions confirm our party’s commitment to protecting the lives and property of all citizens,’’ Jekada maintained.
The APC chairman further appealed to everyone to be law-abiding, adding that ‘’all residents of Kaduna state should turn out on Saturday, 16 February 2019 and re-elect President Muhammadu Buhari.’’