- PDP reacted to the arrest and detention of the ex-governor of Benue, Gabriel Suswam by the DSS
- The opposition party claimed that the arrest was politically motivated
- It alleged that Suswam was arrested and detained so as to prevent him from attending a political meeting scheduled to hold in the North-central soon
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the arrest and detention of the former governor of Benue state, Gabriel Suswam, by the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja.
The PDP said there was no justification for the arrest of Suswam, which it said was politically motivated.
The national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, June 21, that the arrest of Suswam was to prevent him from attending a political meeting scheduled to hold in the North-central soon.
According to The Punch, Ologbondiyan also claimed that the arrest was part of the plan by the federal government to clamp down on members of the opposition party.
He said: “The wicked clampdown has started. Only yesterday (Wednesday, June 20), we were made aware of the arrest and detention of former Benue state governor, Gabriel Suswam, who has been kept incommunicado without access to his lawyers, while the federal government is not forthcoming with the details of the reasons behind the arrest and detention.
“However, we know that his arrest and detention is intended to put him out of circulation so that he will not take part in the mega-meetings of our party planned for the North-Central states.
“There are already fears that other opposition leaders and dissenting voices have been placed under watch and will be dragged in and framed up on security charges, so as to keep them out of circulation ahead of the elections.”
Ologbondiyan said that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had earlier raised the alarm over alleged plans by the federal government to frame him.
He said: “Nigerians are already aware of the alarm raised by former President Olusegun Obasanjo of alleged plots by the Buhari administration to frame, arrest and detain him indefinitely on trumped-up charges, ostensibly following his criticisms and open rejection of the administration for its failures and manifest misrule.
“The world is also aware of the numerous alleged plots by the federal government to frame up and humiliate Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu; Senators Dino Melaye and Shehu Sani, as well as Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike and his Ekiti state counterpart, Governor Ayo Fayose.
“Also, there are concerns about the safety of former Chief of Army Staff and former minister of defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), following the fear expressed by Wike that Danjuma’s life might be in danger after his comments in March, this year, on possible complicity of the state in the killings in Taraba state.”
Ologbondiyan alleged further that on Wednesday, June 21, an explosive device was discovered at the Ebonyi state PDP secretariat, which he said was either planted to blow up the secretariat and kill PDP members or to set up party leaders.
“These attacks, threats and intimidation targeted at influential Nigerians, particularly past leaders, show clearly that the Buhari Presidency is very scared of its inevitable defeat in the 2019 general elections and now seek to apply all machinations to overheat the polity and ostensibly frustrate the process,” he said.
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Legit.ng previously reported that Suswam was arrested by the DSS over an alleged connection with the killings in the state.
Suswam was arrested after the incumbent Governor Samuel Ortom allegedly petitioned the DSS over the security situation in the state.
The DSS had earlier arrested the former governor in 2017, after it said it uncovered a large cache of arms and ammunition from a property allegedly belonging to him at number 44, Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama-Abuja.
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