Yenagoa—The Bayelsa State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has debunked claims alleging that Governor Douye Diri is hounding members of the opposition party with the police.
The party which described the allegations as unfounded and frivolous stated that Diri nor the PDP government of Bayelsa State has no hand in the arrest of Ebikpoemi Bobby Ugo, a social media henchman of APC, by the police.
It will be recalled that the State Publicity Secretary of APC Bayelsa State chapter, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, had in a statement accused Diri of using the state police command and the judiciary to abuse the fundamental human rights of its members.
“We consider this development completely preposterous, outlandish, and anarchic, particularly, at a time, when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has just formally declared open electioneering activities towards a crucial general election, a period when the state government should, indeed, be leading the charge towards peace.
“The right of our members to freely and openly criticise the administration of Governor Diri is guaranteed under our democratic laws. No authority, however highly placed, has the lawful mandate to tamper with that right.
“If the governor feels offended, he is free to approach the courts for redress and not seek self-help using intimidatory tactics, in connivance with the police and the judiciary in the state, ”the statement reads.
But reacting to the allegations, Mr. Ebiye Ogoli, PDP State Publicity Secretary in a statement on Thursday, revealed that Ugo was arrested “over alleged defamatory and inciting false claim that the Federal Government released a sum of N150million to the State Government to tackle the ravaging flood in the state when nothing of such ever happened.”
He noted that it is surprising that rather than the APC to assist its member to substantiate his bogus claim with evidence, it resulted to mudslinging which has become the party’s pastime over the years.
Read also: Flood: APGA assembly candidate draws govt, multinationals attention to plight of Okoroma people
His words, “For the avoidance of doubt, under the watch of Senator Diri, our party has continued and will continue to respect the right of the citizenry to freedom of speech and expression in line with the democratic dictates.
“However, no sane society will encourage hate speech, malicious statement and defamation.
“We have cause to believe that the unfounded and bogus claim by Ebikpoemi Bobby Ugo and his cohorts of the APC, that Bayelsa State Government received a sum of 150 Million from the Federal Government was to undermine the well-loved Governor, ridicule his great efforts at mitigating the impact of the flood and provide succor to thousands of citizens who are now dejected and abandoned by the APC Federal Government”.
“Governor Diri is a consummate democrat with proven credentials for peace and tolerance and he is too decent to ask the police to lay siege on members of the opposition party.”
The statement also noted that the Governor will not prevent the police from discharging their responsibility under the law while urging the accused person to seek safety from the court if he is truly being oppressed or suppressed by anyone.