NATIONAL Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has said the party will take legal action against those intimidating and harassing the party’s members in Zamfara State.
The APC chairman said the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara and any other non-APC states should stop harassment and intimidation of opposition members.
Oshiomhole spoke yesterday in Abuja when he received a petition from the state chapter of the party on alleged harassment of APC members in Zamfara State.
The petitioners said APC members were being harassed to join the PDP in the state.
Oshiomhole noted that given the circumstances surrounding the current situation in which the Supreme Court awarded “our mandate to another party, many would be discouraged, demoralised or continue to wallow in self-pity and trying to find answers to questions but the answers would not count”.
He added: “In life, the downfall of a man is not the end of his life. I believe that our party in Zamfara State would be rebuilt, and I’m happy you are rebuilding it.
“I have taken note of your pain, particularly in respect of our brothers and sisters who, from your report, are being oppressed or even sent to jail under circumstances that are also questionable.
I assure you we will take steps to intervene and see what we can do at the level of judicial intervention.
“I believe Nigeria consciously settled for a multi-party democracy. We could have chosen to have a one-party state. So, once you have a multi-party democracy, the ruling party must respect the right of the opposition. You can be the ruling party today and tomorrow you become the opposition.
“The rules of engagement must allow everyone, regardless of his party affiliation, to express himself, to associate freely and to enjoy the freedom of speech and movement.
“For me, these are universal values that are shared by all democrats around the world. I am happy, however, that in spite of this repression and misuse of the law enforcement agents to arraign and detain people unjustly, that your spirit has not been detained.
“I am one man who believes that you can jail my flesh, but you cannot jail my fighting spirit. Once I am committed to a cause, I will fight for it to a logical conclusion.
“So, I want to thank you for maintaining the peace because you have started organising protests, particularly in Abuja and in Imo State. I particularly give the example of Zamfara State.
“If we have decided to mobilise our supporters to the streets, it would have been impossible for anybody to come out in Zamfara State. That capacity to protest exists, but because we are a ruling party, we do not make protests our business.”
Oshiomhole also said: “So, I assure you, the party will stand by you in our 36 states and in particular in states where we don’t have governors. We know what our leaders and members are going through in those states.
“We are already having conversations in our party. What is happening in Zamfara is also happening in some other states, even in the South.
Somebody published a story in the Southsouth and he was sent to jail because the governor there is of the PDP.
“Ironically, I am not aware that there is anybody who is in prison in states governed by APC on account of his political opinion. But we will follow through these issues.
“I want to thank you for remaining strong and maintaining the party in Zamfara State. The National Executive Council (NEC) will stand by you.”
Immediate past Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar said the party had been used to politics of intimidation and harassment in the state since 2010.
But the former governor said the opposition was more organised and capable of winning any election henceforth.
He blamed APC’s current situation on those he said do not mean well for the part