VISA BAN: PDP COMMENDS US, SAYS APC LEADERS ARE IN TROUBLE
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has hailed the decision of the United States over the fresh imposition of Visa restriction on those who tried to undermine the country's democracy by causing violence or rigging elections.
The PDP also urged the United States to include family members and assets of such ‘anti-democratic agents’ who have destroyed the credibility of the electoral processes.
In a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Tuesday, September, 15, it enjoined the United States to invite the European Union as well as other nations, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, to impose similar sanctions on electoral violators.
This is coming after the US States Department said it has imposed visa restrictions on individuals following their actions during the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa State elections.
The US authority said the individuals (names withheld) have so far operated with "impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles."
The PDP, in the statement, accused the suspended national chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, the APC governorship candidates in Edo, Ize Iyamu and his Ondo counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, of plots to use ‘violence to undermine the sanctity’ of the Edo and Ondo State governorship elections.
The statement read: “The PDP further demands an extension of the ban to the families as well as confiscation of assets of such individuals to serve as stronger deterrent to protect innocent Nigerians who are left to bear the brunt of the misdeed of such unpatriotic persons.
“This Visa ban, if taken across the globe, would be a final warning to the leaders of the APC, as well as compromised security and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, being used by the APC to perpetrate electoral violence and manipulations.
“It is instructive to note that this announcement by the US, which reinforces the determination for resistance in Nigeria, is also an unambiguous cautionary to the sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, the APC governorship candidates in Edo, Ize Iyamu and his Ondo counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, over their plots to use violence to undermine the sanctity of the Edo and Ondo state governorship elections.
“Our party asserts that the position of the US Department of State is a confirmation that 2019 general elections, the November 2019 Kogi governorship election, as well as other elections under the Mohammadu Buhari regime were massively rigged with unrestrained violence against the people and rampant manipulations by the APC and their compromised security agents.”
Ologbondiyan further added that: “the world is aware of how our compatriots were killed and maimed in Kano and various parts of our nation in the 2019 elections; how collation of results were compromised by relations of APC candidates and how compromised security operatives were used to frustrate the will of the people.
“Without saying, Nigerians know the individuals who unleashed violence to rig the November 2019 Kogi State governorship election; who deployed thugs and security agents to shoot and kill voters, cart away ballot boxes, used police helicopter to fire tear gas on Nigerians, burnt an innocent woman, Mrs Salome Abuh, alive, altered election result figures to make themselves winners.
It accused Oshiomole and Ize-Iyamu of overheating the policy in Edo State with serial attacks on other political parties while assembling thugs, cultists, fake policemen as well as their ‘tigers and lions” who they publicly instructed to invade polling centres to unleash violence and undermine the electoral process.
“In Ondo, Nigerians are already aware of how the self-confessed APC militant and former APC chairman in the State, Isaac Kekemeke, boasted that the APC will use violence to rig the October 10 election and that Governor Akeredolu was behind the violent political attacks rocking the State.
“It is instructive to note that after Kekemeke’s boast, INEC facility in Akure, Ondo State capital was set ablaze, leading to the destruction of not less than 5141 card readers meant for the election were destroyed.
“Furthermore, Nigerians know the faces of INEC and security officials used as political mercenaries to manipulate elections in Kogi, Ekiti, Osun and other states. Our party vehemently rejects the deployment of same individuals to Edo and Ondo.
“The presence of such persons is an invitation to the crisis as the people of Edo and Ondo will use every means available and allowed in a democracy to resist them.
“Our party charges INEC and all security agencies to note that the world is watching and as such strive to act by the rules, knowing that a shameful end awaits those who undermine the will of the people.”
The PDP urged Nigerians, particularly in Edo and Ondo States to be vigilant throughout the electoral process from the point of casting their votes, collation centres, and declaration of winner.