The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Monday, called for the unconditional release of former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, and its other members being detained by the government.
The national caretaker committee of the party made the call in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye.
The PDP said its attention has again been drawn to “unwarranted arrest and detention” of Mr. Lamido by the Kano State Command of the Nigerian Police.
It described Mr. Lamido’s arrest as “outrageous and anti-democratic,” saying the action was not because of the frivolous allegation of “inciting the public” leveled against him.
The party said, “The true reason for his arrest, however, has to do with the forthcoming local government elections in Jigawa State.”
The party also attributed the arrest of former Governor Gabriel Suswan, to the forthcoming council polls in his home, Benue State.
“We are, therefore, calling on the security agencies in the country to release unconditionally, Lamido, Suswam, former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, and all other political detainees in their custody,” the party stated.
The party said it was aware that members of the opposition would face hard times in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.
It predicted the government will arrest and intimidate more prominent members of the party.
The party argued that Mr. Lamido never committed any crime for merely asking the people of Jigawa State to defend their votes against rigging.
“How is that a crime? If you are not planning to steal the peoples’ votes, why should you be afraid if the people are advised to defend their votes?” the PDP asked.
“Of course, no thief would want the owner to guard his house against burglary.”
Prior to the 2015 general elections, the party said some members of the APC, which was in opposition at the time, made inciting statements but were not arrested.
“It was not a sign of weakness by the PDP-led government. It was in deference to freedom of speech, democracy and peace,” said the party.
“If this ugly trend is not stopped forthwith, it may lead to breach of peace and public disorder,” it warned.
The PDP accused members of the ruling party of being the ones instigating the lawlessness in Kogi, Niger, Benue and now in Jigawa State.