THE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday raised the alarm over the alleged plot by President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to politically take over the oil-rich Bayelsa State at the forthcoming general elections by the use of crude force through the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, however, vowed that the party was battled ready to frustrate the plot of the ruling APC by all legitimate means.
The NPS disclosed that in a bid to forcefully seize control of the state, the APC was attempting to convert the Police into its violent militant wing, leading to the violations of rules of engagement and putting security agencies on collusion course with the people despite potential bloody consequences.
He warned the Buhari-led federal government to immediately steer clear of Bayelsa State as the continued onslaught and siege on the State would have grave consequences nation’s growing nascent democracy.
According to him: “It is no longer news that the APC, for obvious reasons, has been bent on forcefully taking over the control of oil-rich Bayelsa and other littoral states, for which it now seeks to turn them into theatres of war, with the support of certain individuals in control of federal apparatus of power.
“Today, the PDP and the people of Bayelsa state are being pushed to the wall as with the on-going plot by the APC and the Buhari Presidency to bully the people of Bayelsa and politically annex the state, by the use of crude force.”
The NPS disclosed that the PDP was privy to the fact that some of the Police Commissioners were changed due to their failures to infiltrate the firm resolve of the people to remain peaceful and determinedly supportive of the development-oriented under Governor Seriake Dickson administration.
He lamented that the APC that in its desperation had directly influenced the Inspector General of Police into posting eight different Commissioners of Police to Bayelsa State within the space of the last three months just to destabilize the State.
He pointed that some of the Police Commissioners spent less than a week before being pulled out of the state by the police authorities that have unfortunately acceded to the demands of the APC on the deployment of police chiefs to Bayelsa State.
According to him: “The alarming change of guard of Police hierarchy in Bayelsa State was part of the devious plot to compromise the security architecture of the State, orchestrate security uncertainty, instill fear and siege mentality on residents and then seize the political structure in the state so as to pave way for massive rigging for President Buhari and the APC in the 2019 general elections.
“The fact remains that the APC knows that it cannot win any election in Bayelsa State as well as other littoral states or any PDP state for that matter. As such, it believes that the only way for them is to use security agencies to frighten Nigerians and break their resolve of ahead of the 2019 polls.
“The PDP is also aware of series of meetings in Abuja involving certain cabinet ministers, two particular Presidency aides, some APC leaders, some top security officers and certain compromised officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), including a close relation of President Buhari, where plots to destabilize Bayelsa State was hatched and orders handed to the police.
“We have documentary evidence of these meetings and will not hesitate to make them public if the APC fails to steer clear of Bayelsa State.
“However, let it be known to the APC, the Buhari Presidency and their compromised security personnel that their assault on Bayelsa will definitely attract very terrible consequences, as it will be firmly resisted by the people, head to head, with every means available, accessible and implementable in the defence of democracy.”
He alerted Nigerians of the “current design to use security agencies, particularly the police to browbeat the people, foist a siege mentality on the state, trigger confusion and violence; then create an impression of security emergency with a view to use such as justification for a coordinated invasion, attack and annexing of political structures of the state for President Buhari and the APC ahead of the 2019 general elections”.
According to him: “Bayelsa remains a stronghold of the PDP and this fact is known to all. The Buhari Presidency and the APC should recall that they tried to forcefully take over the state in 2016 with their “penetration plan” but failed woefully. Bayelsa has not altered its status as a stronghold of the PDP and any attempt to disrupt this order has the capacity to trigger a crisis that is capable of sinking our nation’s economic mainstay.
He cautioned the Presidency to note that Bayelsa State “is at the epicentre of all the oil producing strongholds in the Niger Delta region, noting that there are unprecedented anxiety and anger across all interests in the region over this siege on Bayelsa.”
The NPS stated that Nigerians must note that the country could survive another unrest in the Niger Delta, especially when the security agencies were grappling with the worsening insurgency in the North-east and prevailing daily violence and bloodletting in various parts of the country.
According to him, “As we all know, section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) amply provided that no person shall take control of the government of our nation or any part thereof, except in accordance with the democratic provisions of the law. Therefore, we are not ready, in any way, to cede this statutory provision to anybody no matter the threats
“Instead of resorting to violence, rigging and seeking forceful control, the APC should rather use the remaining days of its fading administration to make restitution and seek for forgiveness for all their atrocities and misrule, leading to the economic disaster and daily bloodletting which Nigerians have been painfully suffering in the last three and half years.”
The PDP, therefore, cautioned INEC officials and all security operatives, particularly the police, not to allow the rejected APC to set them on collusion course with Nigerians, as such may not augur well with them, both as institutions and individuals respectively.