The Peoples Democratic Party, on Tuesday, alleged that the Federal Government was building more prisons.
It also said that the government was planning to descend on PDP members in 2018.
The National Chairman of the party, Mr. Uche Secondus, stated these in Abuja at the opening of a two-day retreat for members of the newly elected National Working Committee of the party.
Secondus warned that those building the prisons might be the occupiers, adding that it was wrong for the Federal Government to be persecuting members of the PDP because of their refusal to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
He said, “We learnt that they are building more prisons. Let them go ahead and build more. They will be the one to stay there.
“We learnt that they are coming after our members in January. Let them continue. How many people will they put in jail?
“They should stop intimidating people. They should remember that almost everybody they had put in jail wrongly came back to become President.
“This is because they were jailed unjustifiably. So, if they are persecuting us, let them continue. But we will not withdraw the ultimatum we gave them to quit Aso Rock in 2019.”
Secondus stated that it was wrong to assume that the PDP was not ready to fight corruption, stressing that the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo established institutions that he said “are currently waging a war against graft in the country.”
The PDP chairman added that the former President did not spare members of the PDP then, unlike now when he alleged that the ruling party “protects its members.”
“We stabilised the structure to fight corruption. Obasanjo, a PDP President, started the fight against corruption. He fought our members. But unlike now, no matter how corrupt you are, if you don’t want to be arrested, just defect to the APC,” he added.
Speaking when he received members of the Board of Trustees of the party earlier, Secondus called on the Federal Government to stop intimidating members of the party.
He said, “APC should stop intimidating our leaders. We will no longer take it; enough is enough. They don’t need to attack us; they should fulfil what they promised us.
“Enough of this; we are not in a military era. What I am telling them is that God is not sleeping. When the time comes, the people will speak through their votes.
“We handed over freely in 2015 and they should be prepared to hand over to us. No amount of intimidation will distract Nigerians.”
Secondus condemned the alleged harassment of the former President of the Senate, David Mark, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“There is nowhere in the world where a former Senate President has been harassed like this before,” he added.
While receiving former chairmen of the party, led by Ahmadu Ali, Secondus restated that he and members of the NWC would not be intimidated, adding that they would have zero tolerance for corruption and imposition of candidates.
The Chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin, explained that at no time did members of the BoT support Senator Ali Modu Sheriff while the latter was leading the party.
Jibrin called on members of the party to unite and support the Governor Seriake Dickson-led reconciliation committee.
The BoT, however, recommended that the new NWC should visit all chairmanship aspirants that lost the bid to emerge as the chairman of the party and their key supporters.
It equally recommended that the new NWC should “deal with the various petitions; organise a retreat for all party organs; revisit the issue of the new party secretariat; revisit the biometric registration of members and avoid anything that will lead to unnecessary court cases.”
Party reaching out to Adedoja
Meanwhile, Dickson, who is the governor of Bayelsa State, said his committee would meet with an aggrieved national chairmanship aspirant of the party, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja.
Adedoja has sued the party over the outcome of the December 9 national convention, which was won by Secondus.
The former minister of sports argued that his name was omitted in the ballot papers, saying what appeared on the ballot paper was ‘Taoheed Oladoja’.
Dickson said he had called the former minister and that they would meet soon.
“I have assured Prof Adedoja that the peace panel would like to meet with him. I spoke with him this morning because I heard that he was planning to take us to court. We hold him in high esteem. Politics is about resolving conflict in society,” he said at the retreat.