The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), yesterday, has said that the arrest of Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Senator Sani Yerima, at the weekend for comments relating to the All Progressive Congress (APC) is an indication of the scheme to ensure the party is not registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The former Governor of Zamfara State and Senator of the Federal Republic, was arrested in Kaduna State over alleged ‘‘inciting’’ comments on a live radio programme run by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria [FRCN], Kaduna.
But according to spokesman of the party, Hon Emma Enuekwu, given the flimsy excuses presented by the Police for such an outrageous arrest, the ANPP condemns the arrest and notes that this is sadly a sign of things to come from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] as they are patently jumpy over the coalition of progressives in readiness for the 2015 elections.
The ANPP stated that it could not be intimidated by the display of the security agencies as orchestrated by the PDP.
The party said “to start with, ours is a democracy wherein free speech is paramount; and Senator Yerima was exercising his rights without breaching public peace by any means. Moreover, peaceful demonstration is also legal.
“If Senator Yerima expresses doubts about the sincerity of the ruling party in supporting democratic best practices, and calls for a future peaceful demonstration, it is only a government which has malicious agenda that would take offence at such opinion. “As a party, we throw our weight behind the distinguished senator, and support his views and convictions in this matter. So far, the PDP-led government has telegraphed all the signs of a jumpy regime; and if anything, we are worried that it might, out of its signature malevolent edginess, start acting undemocratically. The Kaduna affair is a signpost to this.
“We wish to remind all democracy lovers in Nigeria that dictatorship does not happen overnight; it starts in trickles, with seeming unremarkable actions, until it culminates in a breaking point when the silent rivulets of evil break the dam of reason, and everything comes tumbling down.
“History records that the German dictator, Adolf Hitler began his career of turning his nation upside down by muzzling the opposition at the minutest excuse, and installing Nazi supporters to control the critical aspects of the national life. At the end, the powerless German legislature signed the Enabling Act, without knowing they signed away the rights of the whole nation into the hands of a few ‘‘mad men’’.
The party, however, expressed its unflinching belief in the rule of law and democratic best practices and said that it was devoted to the coming together of progressives in the emerging All Progressives Congress.
S”No intimidation can rattle us. And as a party, we shall not waver in playing the part history has reserved for us in the ranks of other like-minded progressives. We believe that Nigeria has all it takes to stand tall in the comity of nations.”