Uche Secondus, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, has charged defectors from the All Progressives Party, APC to the opposition party to brace up for war ahead the 2019 general elections.
According to Secondus the battle to wrest power from the ruling party would be fierce as the APC would not want to yield power easily.
He said this in Abuja during a dinner held by the national leadership of the party to welcome defectors from the APC, who are members of the National Assembly, into its fold.
It was gathered that the party has also scheduled a special National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja on Thursday, to formally welcome all the defectors to the party.
Speaking at the dinner, Secondus described the defectors as courageous men and women, who he said refused to keep quiet in the face of “flagrant disobedience of rules in the country.”
He added, “This event is organised in honour of those who took bold steps to join others to rescue the nation.
“They are heroes. They could have chosen to remain where they were and even return to their seats (in the National Assembly), but because they could not see what is going on in the country and keep quiet. That is why they are here.
“They cannot see the killings, the frame-ups, the unemployment and the kind of military democracy that cannot even be described, that they are foisting on us and keep quiet. If we are in the military government, we would know. Rule of law and court orders are no longer obeyed
“These heroes of democracy who have decided to move from the ruling party are unusual men. We need to honour them. Their decision is in defence of democracy.
“But let remind you that we are very far from getting there. Be ready to fight both real and proxy wars.
“It is going to be a very long walk to freedom. There is no longer freedom in Nigeria. No freedom of the press. If you tell them the truth, they say it is hate speech. When you tell them the whole truth, they say it is fake news.”
Secondus, who said he just returned from Benue State where he led members of the National Working Committee on a solidarity visit to Governor Samuel Ortom, described the day the defection took place in both chambers of the National Assembly as the days of freedom.
He said the defections that took place in states such as Kwara, Sokoto, Kogi, Kano and others were “because Nigerians are in pains.”
He regretted that the Federal Government had always claimed not to know what happened in the country.
He said, “When things happen, the government will say they don’t know. They are always not aware and are never bothered.
“When Nigerians are hungry, they don’t lose sleep. The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, will lock down government houses and the Federal Government would say it was not aware or not bothered.
“We are expecting more states to join us and we pray that they will not be bothered. When we win in 2019, they will not be bothered as well.
“We are not here to rejoice but to welcome our members and also encourage them to talk to others like them to join us.”