By EricJames Ochigbo
Abuja – The National Vice Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South-South, Mr Emmanuel Ogidi, has urged Nigerians to join force with the party to defend the principles of democracy in the country.
Ogidi made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja while reacting to the alleged Police brutality on Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose.
The police were said to have on Wednesday interrupted a rally organised by the PDP ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in the state, and shot guns and teargas canisters to disperse the crowd.
Policemen were said to have attacked the governor in the process, leading to injuries on him.
Ogidi referred to the actions of the police against innocent Nigerians in Ekiti as “gangster-like’’, and urged leaders to watch the examples they leave for younger generations.
According to him, we must all do everything possible to defend democracy and should not stand-by and watch it desecrated.
“I want to say and assure you that by the grace of God, we are going to defend this democracy, because our children will not be happy with us as it is in our time that all these things are happening.
“It cannot stand; we are going to follow anything political to resolve this; we are ready and they may have to jail or kill all of us.
“We are going to defend democracy; we know nothing good comes easy and we are ready for it,” he said.
Ogidi said that in a state where election was expected to hold two days away, shutting down the Government House by the Police was despicable.
He explained that Nigeria practiced federal system of government and that the state’s Government House represented the Aso Rock in Abuja.
According to the vice chairman, the state government house is the symbol of the Federal Government in the state; once it is threatened then democracy is threatened.
He called on all governors irrespective of party affiliation, to protest against the actions of the police against Gov. Fayose as it could happen to any of them.
According to him, this implies that governors are no longer the Chief Security Officers of their states, if Fayose could be treated that way.
Ogidi said that the actions of the police in Ekiti justified the calls for State Police to ensure security of lives and property.
He blamed the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led Federal Government for destroying democracy in the country.
He alleged that the police officers were only carrying out the directives from high commands.
The PDP chieftain said that government officials must imbibe the tenets of democracy, citing former President Goodluck Jonathan as a perfect example.
“If you ride a tiger, the tiger will hunt you; if the APC is comfortable with what is happening, it will hunt them,” he added.
He urged Nigerians to be very careful when choosing a leader for the continuous growth of democracy in the country.
Ogidi said that his pride as a Nigerian was diminishing as a result of the trauma and humiliations in the country.
He said that hatred and hate speeches had grown in the last three years and that Nigerians had become afraid of leaving their local residences for other parts of the country.
The party chieftain said Nigerians irrespective of tribe or creed were suffering and that the country was no longer the happiest in the world as it used to be known.
He said that people were suffering and losing confidence in the country, and called on every Nigerian to support the defence and sustainability of democracy in the country.