The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has reacted to the one-week ultimatum given by Okene local government for the party to vacate its Okene secretariat.
The Chairman of Okene Local Government Council, Hon. Abdulrazaq Muhammad, in a letter dated October 26, 2022, and with Ref No: OKLG/S/OFF/28011/321, asked the PDP to vacate the office, citing security as the reason for shutting down the opposition party’s secretariat in the local government area.
In a swift reaction, the chairman of PDP, Okene LGA chapter, Mallam Ibrahim Adabara, rejected the ultimatum, describing the government order as ultra vires of the powers of a local government chairman under the extant laws in Nigeria.
The PDP made this known in a letter addressed to the Chairman of Okene Local Government Council, dated October 27, 2022, and signed by Adabara.
“We are in receipt of your letter dated the 26th day of October, 2022 in respect of the above subject matter and we want to timeously register our protest and disagreement to the said letter vis a vis the one (1) week ultimatum to vacate our PDP Secretariat in Okene, Kogi State.
The letter read:
“Foremost sir and with all sense of responsibility, the content and purport of the said letter is ultra vires of the powers of a local government chairman under the extant laws in Nigeria. Our Party Secretariat does not in any way pose any security threat to any infrastructure in the area particularly the Okene Central Mosque and the Council Secretariat as captured in your letter.
“The infrastructures under reference are state assets that benefit all the good people of Okene, Our members inclusive and we accordingly urge you sir to jettison the unwarranted security concern by the Peace and Security Committee which we consider with the greatest respect to be politically motivated for selfish political gain.
“Furthermore sir, the said letter with all intent and purpose, is tantamount to usurping and depriving us and our members of the constitutional rights to own landed property anywhere in Nigeria as well as depriving us the right to political participation and peaceful assembly well captured and guaranteed under sections 43 and 40 respectively of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“These rights have been held inviolable in replete cases by the courts of the land. Assuming but without conceding that the said property poses the imaginary security threat as captured in your letter, we are bewildered that the same notice is not extended to the Campaign Office of the APC senatorial candidate which was recently acquired and is directly opposite the Police Station and the market in the same location.
“If there’s any structure that poses any sort of security threat, it is that of the APC senatorial candidate campaign office and not ours, as such, you may direct the notice to the appropriate building if you still consider that there is a need to issue such notice.
“We as a political party and a lawful institution have always worked and will continue to work to strengthen the security architecture of Okene, Kogi Central Senatorial District and Nigeria at large. We hold the strong view that the ultimatum issued by your good-self has to be reconsidered as it is capable of leading to breach of the relative peace we have all witnessed and enjoyed in Okene.
“We reject the said ultimatum in its entirety as it is a cloak to intimidate, coerce and overawe us in order to hamper our political activities in this electoral season, an attempt we will resist within the confines of the law.
“While we assure the Chairman and his cabinet of our full cooperation always, please accept the assurances of our esteem regards.”.