The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) in Kwara State, has condemned the arrest of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Kwara South, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, describing it as unlawful.
The coalition of the opposition political parties in the state said Ibrahim’s arrest and detention by the police since Thursday confirmed its earlier position that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government in connivance with security agencies, planned a clampdown on opposition leaders in the state.
Addressing a crowded press conference, with international election observers in attendance in Ilorin, yesterday, the chairman of the CNPP in the state, Alhaji Adebayo Lawal, said that the federal lawmaker’s arrest was part of a plot to scuttle the electoral process in Kwara State and subvert the will of the people.
He called on the international community to intervene and not only ensure the release of Senator Ibrahim, but guide against unlawful arrest of opposition figures in the state.
Adebayo added: “Barely 24 hours to Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, officers of the Nigerian Police Force, who were visibly acting on the orders of the presidency, forcefully arrested and detained Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, the senator representing Kwara South senatorial district, and the candidate of the PDP for the election. Up till this moment, Senator Rafiu, who is a major contender for Kwara South senatorial district election like our other candidates, is yet to be released.
“We have received information that the high hierarchy of the police has ordered that Senator Rafiu Ibrahim must not be released, which is a deliberate ploy to keep him out of circulation before and during the elections. This is unacceptable, unlawful, undemocratic and a primitive show of power by a party that is well-known for abuse of power, federal institutions and flouting of court orders with impunity. The desperation of the APC to win elections at all costsportends great danger for our nascent democracy.”
“We invite members of the fourth estate of the realm, local and international observers, civil society groups, well-meaning Nigerians and all lovers of democracy to rise in condemnation of this unlawful detention of Senator Rafiu Ibrahim and other opposition members and also demand for their immediate release. We all have a duty to protect democracy and save the sanctity of our electoral process.