The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of intimidation and plots to stifle opposition in the state.
It specifically accused the governor of using his might to block the free-flow of democratic engagements and constitutional rights of the opposition members, which may, thereby, threaten the peaceful co-existence of the two parties in the state.
In a statement issued on Monday by the party spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP explained how alleged agents in Zamfara blocked its efforts to acquire another property for its secretariat in the state after the defection of the governor to the APC.
The party lamented how Mr Matawalle converted its former secretariat to an APC office after his defection.
“Our party invites the public to note that since Governor Bello Matawalle left our fold to defect to the fizzling APC, his agents have been using compromised agencies of the state to tyrannize our PDP members and other well-meaning citizens of Zamfara state in a bid to cow them to submission.
“It is imperative to state that after the decamping of the governor, faithful members of our party immediately worked out strategies to reposition the party to effectively play the role of main opposition in the state,” Mr Ologbondiyan said.
The party also referenced how a landlord unduly terminated its contract on a property in Gusau, shortly after moving in.
“Upon investigation, it was discovered that an agency of Zamfara State government, had threatened the landlord with (the) demolition of the property, should he continue to accommodate the PDP.
“After a painstaking search, we acquired another property, along Sani Abacha Way, also in Gusau as our secretariat. But to our dismay the Zamfara Urban and Regional Planning Board, invaded the complex and placed a demolition notice on the property,” the PDP alleged.
The party argued that both instances clearly indicate Mr Matawalle and APC’s intention to suppress its members and turned Zamfara into a single party state.
The PDP on this note called on civil groups and Nigeria to rise in condemnation of the ruling party’s alleged injustice melted against its members and the tenets of democracy.
But the governor denied the allegations by the PDP.
The Special Adviser to the governor on media and communications, Zailani Bappa, described the PDP statement as an effort to drag the Zamfara State Government into its tenancy problem to curry public sympathy.
“Against the above background, we find this allegation as spurious and a total disrespect to Dr Bello Mohammed, who midwifed, nursed and nurtured the nearly obliterated PDP as a Party in Zamfara State and sailed it to power in 2019.
“The PDP must be reminded of the fact that it poses no threat to either the APC as a Party in Zamfara State, or Dr Bello Mohammed himself. In fact, the new leadership of the PDP at the National level needs to do its homework and find out how it was able to manage a second position in 2019 elections if not for the sheer and total efforts of His Excellency Dr Bello Mohammed,” Mr Bappa said in a statement sent to newsmen.
He said his boss will not stoop low by stifling the PDP, which he described as “ant” and “dead horse” in the political atmosphere of the state.
“If indeed, the PDP believes its allegations are true and it is preparing to go to court, then its media allegation against the government is a needless distraction and a mischievous attempt to smear the name of the governor and his administration,” he said.
Mr Matawalle, in July, formally defected to the ruling APC alongside some members of the state house of assembly after months of speculations and denials.
His deputy, however, remains in the PDP.
Governors David Umahi of Ebonyi State and Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State had defected months earlier.