If it were ever taking it any less than seriously, that is over. That is the Sokoto State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over what it calls intimidation, molestation, unlawful arrest and unwarranted detention of its members, without arraigning them in any courts, sometimes for over one week.
Alhaji Abdullahi Yusuf Hausawa, the state Publicity Secretary of the party told a news conference Sunday that it is worth bringing to the notice of the general public the incessant harassment because, as far as the party is concerned, the police has become partisan and partial by dancing to the tune of the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress, (APC).
“Gentlemen of the Press, we want the whole world to know that we have lost confidence and trust in the NIGERIAN police”, said he on behalf of a collection of groups supposedly operating under Sokoto State PDP Mobilisation Groups. Among these are Northern PDP Youths Forum; PDP Youths Alliance, Sokoto State; PDP Mobilisation for Peace, Sokoto State; Sokoto state New PDP Media Forum; PDP Youths Ambassadors, Sokoto State; PDP Women Mobilisation Alliance. Others are House-To-House Mobilisation Vanguard; PYOMI PDP Sokoto state and Mutawalle Lafiya Sak Forum.
The Sokoto branch is piqued by the Police, according to it, the police going all the way from Abuja to Sokoto with the sole mission of apprehension its members, transferring them to Abuja without charging them with committing any offences after incarceration and confinement for more than a week. Other charges thrown at the police are use of force to suppress the opposition in Sokoto state, instilling fear in the people as well as use of Special Anti-armed Robbery Squad (SARS) to operate in commando style of arresting and detaining its supporters.
“We will like to remind the IGP that we will not refrain from our firm stand to ensure justice and fairness to our teeming party supporters”, insinuating a campaign of calumny against the governor of the state, Aminu Tambuwal.
The party is claiming its awareness that the teams sent to Sokoto State to arrest and whisk away some of its supporters are part of a Special Squad said to have been formed by the Inspector General of Police to arrest any member of the general public opposing the All Progressive Congress, (APC) or the federal government.
It has vowed to use all constitutional and legal avenues to fight for its rights. Going specific, the PDP argues that the police is being used by the APC leadership through a former governor of Sokoto state and a serving Senator (obviously Senator Magatakadar Wammako) “to intimidate our teeming supporters after his failure in misleading the people of Sokoto that he is the Alpha and Omega. He is so desperate in ensuring that he creates political turmoil and tension in the state by using the office of the IGP to do his bidding”. As if to prove its claim, the publicist is alleging that the IGP approved the bidding of APC in Sokoto State through the appointment of an alleged loyalist of former Governor Aliyu Magatakardar Wamakko to head the Mobile Police Unit – MOPOL 7 – in Sokoto. An indigene of Sokoto State, the officer in question previously served as a Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the then Governor Wamakko during his eight years tenure.
Neither former governor, Wammako nor the APC in Sokoto State have responded to the allegations. It will not be long in coming if past trends are anything to go in this war of brickbats.
Sokoto State is where the PDP is tipped to win the governorship contest in the Northwest although this does not prevent two candidates getting the 2/3 requirement in the state.