The Peoples Democratic Party has condemned in totality, what it described as the brazen display of “authoritarianism” by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government in handcuffing its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh when he appeared in court on Tuesday.
The party said that the development betrayed an extra-judicial, top political witch-hunt policy of the All Progressives Congress, which it said was carefully designed to humiliate, embarrass and portray PDP leaders as common criminals and set the stage to cow and decimate opposition and perceived foes of the government.
In a statement signed by the party’s National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo on Tuesday, the party said the aim of the of the ruling party is to break Metuh.
“The question remains, if not to mortify, dehumanise and break Metuh, who has been very vocal against the APC administration, and of course to send a signal to others critical of the government, what else would have informed the decision to produce him in court in handcuffs, even when his case does not border on security threat?” Oladipo said.
“Is this an attempt to sway the court and ambush the judicial process against our National Publicity Secretary, all because of his stance against observed ineptitude and dictatorial tendencies of this administration?
“The PDP invites all Nigerians and the international community to note the emerging barefaced abuse of state power and violation of constitutional provisions regarding the arrest, detention and eventual arraignment of our spokesperson.”
Oladipo added that Nigerians by now, should be extremely scared that the country was fast drifting into what he called a police state where being in opposition or holding views divergent to that of the government makes one a criminal and an enemy of the state.
He alleged that for now, the target of the on-going “lopsided war against corruption is the PDP and its leaders” while all APC members, including those with known corruption issues had been immune from investigation, arrest and prosecution.
Oladipo added that, more worrisome was the fact that institutions of government, especially security and corrective agencies have now fallen victims of dictatorial abuses.
With this, he said the PDP was afraid that in no time, ordinary citizens of Nigerians, who in the last 16 years have lived under the rule of law and constitutionally guaranteed personal liberty, would begin to suffer brutality and oppression.
He said, “Under PDP administration, some Nigerians, including APC leader and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu were tried but never humiliated; now we see security operatives under this regime being used to crush and humiliate the opposition.”