The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has condemned the arrest of the former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, by the police for allegedly making an inciting comment on FRCN Kaduna, saying the arrest might signal an impending clampdown on the opposition by a jittery Federal Government.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Senator Yerima’s arrest by the police, for saying in a radio interview that there would be a mass protest if INEC refuses to register APC after it would have met all legal requirements, was nothing short of budding fascism. It said Senator Yerima did not say anything extraordinary by threatening a protest, because protests were an integral part of liberal democracy and could not be wished away or banned by anyone.
‘’We will like to say, in support of Senator Yerima, that if INEC refuses to register the All Progressives Congress (APC), when all the legal requirements have been met, the protest in Tahrir Square in Egypt will be a child’s play compared to what we will do at the Eagle Square. ‘’We say this because we are aware that the PDP, which is mortally afraid of the rise and rise of the APC, is behind the phantom African Peoples Congress which has applied to INEC for registration, in an effort to instigate an acronym crisis and give INEC a reason, if it needs any not to register the All Progressives Congress.
‘’But we will like to warn that if indeed INEC has not merged with the PDP, as one of our leaders, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, has said, then we do hope that the electoral body; which by the way is not unaware of the All Progressives Congress as the authentic APC – will not succumb to the evil machinations of the apprehensive PDP,’’ ACN said.
The party said it expected more arrests, investigations by the pliable anti-corruption agencies and other acts aimed at intimidating its leaders in the weeks and months ahead, but warned the FG to make sure it had enough prison space to accommodate those it plans to arrest. ‘’After all, it is generally believed that the recent redeployment of police commissioners in the states was done in readiness for the pre-2015 clampdown on the opposition.” We know the arrest of Senator Yerima is just a tip of the iceberg, as the PDP-controlled FG gets ready to bare its fangs. But we must warn that fascism can never prevail over liberal democracy,’’ it said.