2023 presidential poll: PDP denies report on zoning, calls for release of head of security, others arrested in Kogi

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied reports in a section of the media suggesting that it plotted  to retain the zoning of its presidential slot in the North-East and South-East.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, addressing a news conference on Sunday in Abuja, described the report as mere speculation.
Ologbondiyan said those behind the reports were political terrorists whose plan was to mislead the public and cause disaffection within the ranks of the PDP with the hope of using such fabrications to further their own selfish political ambitions.

He urged all PDP members and supporters to ignore those seeking to cause disaffection in the paty’s ranks.
“The PDP states categorically that our governors are not divided along any lines of ambition towards 2023, neither is there any plot to stop the ambition of any of our members.
“For the avoidance of doubt, our party is yet to discuss the 2023 presidential election, overtly or covertly, at any time whatsoever.
“If anything, the PDP is currently working with Nigerians on how to win its elections in Kogi and Bayelsa  governorship elections.
“We will not be distracted by individuals who found themselves operating in the highest offices of the land but failing in governance,” Ologbondiyan said.
He said that as a party, they were also working with their respective state governors and legislators across the country, in line with the party’s manifesto to improve on the welfare and development of Nigerians.
“Moreover, it is also imperative to counsel, without any equivocation, that enemies of our party, who feel threatened by the rising profile of Governor Nyesom Wike, should have a rethink on their incessant attacks on the governor,” he said.
Ologbondiyan  appreciated the contribution of Wike, as well as all other PDP governors, to the growth of the party.
Meanwhile, the party also called for immediate and unconditional release of its Head of Security in Dekina Local Government area of Kogi State, Mr Edeh Abutu, and others arrested in the state.
Ologbondiyan alleged that Abutu and some other PDP members in Kogi were arrested on what he called trumped up charges and taken to an unknown destination “where they were believed to be under torture”.
He recalled that on Thursday, the PDP had raised the alarm over alleged plots to clampdown on key party leaders in the state.
Ologbondiyan claimed that framing up, harassing, victimising, issuing threats and arresting innocent citizens were being used in order to manipulate the forthcoming election in the state.
He said that Abutu had been threatened with arrest and frame-up several times before he was eventually picked up.
The PDP spokesman added that party’s head of security was framed and arrested after he pulled a “gargantuan crowd” for PDP’s governorship campaign rally in Dekina.
He said that available reports showed that thugs invaded Abutu’s residence, harassed citizens with gunshots, abducted him and took him to an unknown destination.
“The PDP is also aware of plots to frame-up other PDP leaders with allegations of illegal possession of firearms, sponsoring of violence and training of thugs, among others as an attempt to intimidate the citizens,” he said.
Ologbondiyan cautioned that the continuous detention of Abutu was capable of causing crisis in the state.
He urged security agencies not to allow themselves to be entangled with the APC against the people, as such “will diminish the trust, respect and confidence that people have for them.

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