The ugly event that unfolded at the rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna last Monday was wrong but, regrettably, self-inflicted.
This is contained in a statement signed by Barr. Felix Morka, National Publicity Secretary, All Progressives Congress (APC
According to the statement: “As a Party, we abhor and condemn any and all forms of violence and interference in the activities or events of any political party. Every Party is entitled to conduct their legitimate activities in peace and security. And every Party has a right to equal protection of the law. Perpetrators of disruptive and other acts of violence must be brought to justice.
“However, the PDP has no one but itself to blame for the violent incident at its rally in Kaduna. The incident was simply a matter of a rented crowd that went irate when the Party’s rent-a-crowd managers disappeared with funds meant to pay for the rented crowd.
Rather than hold its head down in shame for the poor and distasteful showing at its Kaduna rally, the PDP seeks to scapegoat our Party for its own gross acts and misconduct.
To be clear, the APC has no hand in the attack as irresponsibly alleged by the PDP. We have no reason to be perturbed by the rally.
As Africa’s largest political party, bolstered by the remarkable accomplishments of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, with a vibrant future led by our visionary Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we cannot, in any way, be unnerved by any political party or Presidential Candidate. Certainly, not by the PDP, a party in tatters and at war with itself.
If anything, it was the PDP that scheduled and conducted its rally in Kaduna on the same day that our Candidate was scheduled to make an appearance at the Arewa Dialogue before which the PDP Candidate made an appearance the Saturday prior. A mature and well governed campaign would have avoided that apparent conflict of having two major events take place in the same city on the same day. Having made their pitch at the dialogue, it was only fair that our Candidate be allowed to do the same. But such civil gesture is uncharacteristic of the PDP.
Given the credible, free and fair elections that the APC-led administration superintended in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states, there is no iota of doubt that our party remains committed to the highest levels of civility, transparency and respect for the rule of law in its political engagements. That this government also midwifed the massive reform of the Electoral Act, and introduced the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) speak volume to its commitment to democratic consolidation in our country.
We urge security agencies to probe the unfortunate Kaduna incident with a view to unmasking and prosecuting the culprits behind it. It is imperative that political parties eschew violence and play strictly by the rules of engagement, going forward. We enjoin all parties and candidates to subscribe to issue-based campaigns and observe applicable ethical standards and best practices. We owe Nigerians a duty to ensure a violence-free and peaceful electioneering process ahead of the 2023 general election.”