Elections: PDP reacts to arrest of Kaduna campaign spokesperson, rejects violence

File photo of a PDP rally
File photo of a PDP rally

The Peoples Democratic Party PDP on Sunday called for the immediate and unconditional release of its campaign spokesperson in Kaduna, Ben Bako.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Bako was arrested on Saturday night allegedly by officials of the State Security Service (SSS).

Although the SSS is yet to state any official reason for the arrest, the politician was caught on video inciting PDP supporters to violence in Southern Kaduna.

The Deputy Director-General, Ashiru/Mashal campaign Organisation, Danjuma Sarki, who addressed journalists in Kaduna on Sunday, said ‎ the Kaduna PDP will not be drawn into any violent conflict no matter the provocation.

“We are calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Ben Bako after being harassed and illegally detained without trial for over 24 hours,” he said.

He said no amount of intimidation, threat, blackmail and illegal use of state force will deter the PDP from winning the next general election in the state and the country.

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PDP Opposes Violence

Although he refused to condemn Mr Bako for calling for violence, Mr Sarki said the PDP was against violence during the elections

He said the Kaduna PDP is determined and totally committed to a violence-free poll and that no member or supporter of the PDP should be involved in breaking of the law.

Mr Danjuma ‎ said the party will use every legal means to protect its votes in the next general election

He said his party also wants the redeployment of the SSS Director General in Kaduna.

“The DSS has become compromised and partisan in Kaduna State and we say no to such development.

“We believe that Kaduna State Director of the DSS, Ahmadu Idris, will not be neutral in the 2019 general elections and we call for his immediate redeployment.

“We call on both local and international election observers to take special interest in Kaduna state elections,” he said.

‎Mr Danjuma said the PDP is serious about ensuring that every vote cast in the state counts.

“We are calling on our members and supporters to ensure that they come out in large numbers and vote. They must ensure that their votes are counted, recorded and securely moved to the next collation centre.

“On this, we are ready to use every legal means to protect our franchise. No amount of intimidation, threat, blackmail and illegal use of state force will deter us from this aspect.

The PDP is the main opposition to the governing APC in Kaduna. The PDP governorship candidate, Isa Ashiru, seeks to replace Governor Nasir El-Rufai of the APC.

The governorship and state assembly elections will hold on March 2, two weeks after the presidential and National Assembly elections which hold on February 16.

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