Governors elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday said Nigeria was sliding into dictatorship under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governors, under the aegis of the PDP Governors’ Forum, made this known after rising from a two-hour meeting of the forum held in the inner chamber of the Bayelsa State Governor’s Office in Yenagoa.
The PDP governors led by their chairman and Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, condemned the alleged invasion of the Akwa Ibom State Government House by some operatives of the Department of State Services.
Mimiko, who read the communique of the forum to journalists, said the invasion was against the spirit, ethos, values and fundamental tenets of democratic norms and tradition, more so with the existence of a duly elected and sworn-in governor of the state.
He said, “We insist that the trend must stop henceforth. No democracy survives without a viable opposition in any part of the world and we must also remember to remind the APC that they are the real beneficiaries of the liberal democratic ethos of the PDP.
“We once more advise the DSS to preoccupy itself with the task of ensuring internal security and desist from daily harassing and intimidating members of the opposition.
“We implore the international community, the civil society organisations and human rights activists to caution the All Progressives Party-led Federal Government and to insist that it respects the well-entrenched democratic tradition.
“We all have a duty to prevent what looks to us like a steady slide of this country into dictatorship.”
Mimiko said the PDP governors were worried, alarmed and shocked by such a desecration, noting that it was an assault on democracy.
He said situation like what happened in Akwa Ibom State could spell doom for the country’s democracy.
The governor noted that the action was one of the continuous attempts by the APC-controlled government to stifle the opposition.
Of the 13 PDP governors in the country, two governors and four deputy governors were present at the meeting.
The governors were Mimiko and the host, Seriake Dickson, while the deputies that represented their governors were those of Delta, Kingsley Otuaro; Asia, Chris Akomas; Ebonyi, Kelechi Igwe;and Kogi, Yomi Awoniyi.
Governors of Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Cross River, Benue, Ekiti and Taraba states did not attend the meeting. They also did not send representatives.
Repeated calls to the mobile telephone number of the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, were neither picked nor replied. A response to a text message sent to him was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report.