The member representing Bassa LGA in the Kogi state House of
Assembling Hon. Sunday Shigaba has called on the Inspector General of police
Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, the Deputy inspector General of police (DIG) in
charge of elections for Kwara and kogi Godwin Nwobodo and Commissioner of
police Hameed Busari to ensure unconditional release of the chairman of PDP
Bassa LGA Hon. Augustine Wodi who was arrested and detained by the
officers of SARS yesterday.
The lawmaker who is also the Candidate of the PDP in the Saturday House of Assembly election decried the arbitrary arrest of the party chairman for holding meeting with his members on how best to participate in the election.
Shigaba while addressing Journalists in Lokoja, Wednesday charged the Nigeria Police not to involve in partisan politics to be used by the ruling party against the members of the opposition parties who are adopting strategies to win support for their parties.
He stated that the recent clampdown on his members by the police on trump up and frivolous charges in an election period portend dangers for the nascent democracy.
He added that the PDP chairman who was holding a meeting with his members in his house at Oguma, headquarters of the LGA was only addressing members on how to be abreast with the peace accord signed by the parties in the last presidential and National Assembly elections .
He added that the peace accord which led to peaceful conduct of the elections in the local government area should be enacted stressing that he was surprised for members of SARS to storm his private residence to arrest the chairman and his personal assistant( PA) without cogent reasons.
According to him “The chairman and the stakeholders were holding meeting in my residence at Oguma as a sitting member of the state House of Assembly and a candidate in the forthcoming House of Assembly election. The police invaded my house even while I was away and took the duo and clamped them in detention when election is only a few days away.
“The CP had called the party chairmen and stalwarts to
Lokoja to brainstorm on ways to have a violent free elections and as a take
away, he called his members to ensure the same standard used in the last
elections that was peaceful across the LGA. It was while the meeting was going
on that the men of SARS armed to the teeth stormed the venue and whisked them
away. As I’m talking there were still being detained on frivolous
charges. Even the officers testified to their innocence contrary to the
alleged information given to them.
” These indiscriminate arrests of opposition members at this critical election time negate the essence of Democracy which conferred rights of Association on members of the society and if the police continue to do the bidding of the ruling party then they themselves are the one preaching violence.
“We have a relatively peaceful election in Bassa, except an isolated case in Eforum ward where an individual tried to be demigod. Unfortunately, may be, some persons may not be happy with our peaceful disposition and have started to use police to provoke us. ”We believe the CP have good intentions for calling for peace accord and if he then turn round to breach the accord then the essence of Democracy is jeopardized. I see no reasons for the police going about harassing and detaining people who were just holding peaceful meeting. I will leave no stone unturned to see that right things are done in this matter.
“I therefore called on the DIG Nwobodo and CP Busari to wade into the matter to get them released. They should not allow themselves to be used, as their oath is to protect all the citizens of this country.” He urged. While calling for free, fair and credible election on Saturday urged INEC to conduct themselves professionally by respecting their own rules of engagement.
He urged electorate to come out enmass to exercise their franchise and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice asking them to defend their votes.