By G9ija

The Peoples Democratic Party has reacted to the destruction of the billboard of its presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa, in Delta State.

According to available information, the billboard was placed along Udu Express Junction, near Warri, Delta State.

The reaction was contained in a statement by the Deputy Director, Media and Publicity of the Delta State PDP Campaign Council, Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza, on Wednesday.

Osuoza, who is also the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Delta State, wrote: “The attention of the Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council has been drawn to a viral video footage, depicting the deliberate, gory, primitive, wanton vandalization and destruction of our huge Atiku/Okowa Campaign billboards, by thugs and miscreants, along Udu Express junction near Warri, Delta State, in broad daylight and in the full glare of onlookers who were clearly seen and heard, gleefully celebrating the dastardly action, with pomp and endorsement.

“We have no doubts whatsoever, that these hardened thugs and recalcitrants, who, from the deftness and nimble dexterity of their expertise in climbing the billboards and clinically carrying out their nefarious actions, were definitely sponsored by the opposition with specific instructions to destroy only our billboards.

“There is a very clear indication that this crude, anti-democratic demonstration of unprovoked, unnecessary violence so close to the commencement of the 2023 general election, was perpetrated against the backdrop of the recent unbearable, strangulating economic hardship visited upon Nigerians by the wicked APC Federal Government, through the naira redesign/swap and suffocating fuel crises that has gripped the entire Nigeria nation by the jugular, in a suffocating choke hold.

“The currency swap in particular, is a deliberate policy of the All Progressives Congress, APC Federal Government, so we are at a loss to understand why they are now inciting riots across the country through their leaders, even as these same leaders and their Governors have gone to Court to challenge a policy of their own administration and leadership. This is truly a case of Things Fall Apart, The Centre Cannot Hold Anymore, The Falcon Cannot Hear The Falconer Again And Mere Anarchy Has Now Been Loosed upon Nigeria and Nigerians (to paraphrase W.B Yeats ‘The Second Coming’).

“But amazingly, rather than direct their anger and wild destructive frenzy against APC BILLBOARDS and the object of their sufferings in Warri, these deliberately misguided and mentally imbalanced elements, chose to vent their anger on our harmless billboards, which lends sufficient credence and corroboration to our position that they were definitely sponsored by opposition groups and interests.

“It is even more unfortunate and worrisome, that this unwarranted act of unbridled violence, is coming barely 24 hours after all the political parties in the State, including the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Social Democratic Party, SDP were fully represented and signed a Peace Accord, in the presence of INEC, security agencies and civil society groups, in which they all committed and resolved to be of good conduct, eschew violence and maintain the peace across the State, in the run-up to the 2023 general election.

“Lets us state categorically that no individual, group, or political party has a monopoly of violence, but as a responsible political party, we have embraced the truism that election is not war and there is no need to invoke the Code of Hammurabi in a contest which we are all participating as brothers, sisters, Deltans.

“It is in this spirit of brotherhood and one Delta State, that we therefore appeal to our teeming supporters, to remain calm and peaceful in the face of this diversionary provocation. We know our capacity and we will respond accordingly on February 25 and March 11, at the ballot and our polling units with our PVCs, as we prove to these enemies of progress and democracy, that destroying our billboards is the worst they can do and this will not in any way, be enough to stop our massive landslide victory at the elections.

“We also wish to caution the opposition and sponsors of this violence, especially the Delta State All Progressives Congress, APC Governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-agege, to caution those who may be masquerading as his thugs, to be more circumspect in their opposition plans as we approach the elections, and desist henceforth and forthwith, from even conceiving and perpetrating any further acts of destruction and violence on our party billboards and other symbols. This is a friendly advice.

“We have duly reported this matter to the law enforcement agencies, who were fortunately present at the Peace Accord signing ceremony, and we urge them to hold Senator Ovie Omo-Agege in particular, responsible for the wanton destruction perpetrated by those who may be acting as his thugs in Delta State and take swift and appropriate action to bring those found culpable for vandalising our billboards to book, in order to nip any further violence in the bud.

“Delta State deserves free, credible, and peaceful elections and the PDP will not be intimidated, deterred or distracted by the defeatist actions of the shameless, unrepentant cowards and serial losers, from our determined march to resounding victory in the 2023 elections.”