Ahmed Makarfi, Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Â has demanded unconditional and immediate release of its members in detention centres across the country.
The party made the call in a statement issued by the committeeâ€™s Spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye in Abuja on Monday.
Makarfi said that PDP attention has been drawn to the untoward, unconstitutional and indiscriminate arrest and detention of PDP members and supporters nationwide.
He said that the PDP members were arrested and detained on phantom charges.
Makarfi said that Salisu Mamuda, the Chairman of PDP Jigawa chapter was on February 4, arrested for criticising the state government against spending N400 million to entertain defectors from PDP to APC.
He also recalled that Babatunde Gbadamosi, a 2015 PDP Governorship Aspirant in Lagos also was arrested by men of the Department of State Service on February 17.
He said that Gbadamosi was arrested for allegedly exposing the Forex racketeering at the Central Bank of Nigeria, adding thatÂ on March 3, Abdulrahman Mohammed, a PDP Chieftain in Kogi was arrested on trump-up charges and detained illegally for â€œcriticising the wrong policies, bad governance and non-performanceâ€™â€™ of Governor Yahaya Bello.
â€œOn April 9, 2017, Austin Okai, a PDP Youth leader and frontline critic of the Yahaya Belloâ€™s APC led government in Kogi State,Â was arrested by men of the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squared (SARS) on phantom petitions by some cronies of the governor.â€™â€™
Makarfi added that there were also reports of indiscriminate arrest and detention of Nigerians in Kaduna, Edo, and Nasarawa, among others.
He described the indiscriminate arrest of PDP members as â€œabsurd, disheartening and a serious threatâ€™â€™ to Nigeriaâ€™s hard earned democracy.
â€œNigerians cannot and should not be arrested and detained indiscriminately for criticising and holding government accountable.
â€œConstructive criticism is the primary responsibility of opposition in a democracy all over the world and Nigeria cannot be an exception.
â€œWe will mobilise Nigerians at all levels to fight against the use of arms in a democratic system to ridicule and intimidate citizens of this country.â€™â€™
Makarfi called on all civil rights organisation across the country and in the Diaspora to rise to the defence of Nigerians. Â Â