The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised the arrest of Ben Bako, Director (Media), of its Campaign Council and the spokesperson of the party in the state by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Bako, who was also a former commissioner of information in the state, was said to have been arrested by the DSS operatives over a video where he allegedly promoted hate speech and public incitement ahead of the upcoming 2019 general elections.
At a press conference on Sunday, Danjuma Bello-Sarki, Deputy Director of the State Campaign Council, demanded that the DSS immediately and unconditionally release Bako from its custody.
He insisted that Bako broke no known laws of the state or country, adding that the PDP chieftain was whisked away to Abuja on Saturday after honouring the invitation of Ahmadu Idris, the DSS Director of Kaduna State.
Bello-Sarki said: “As a law-abiding citizen, and with nothing to fear or hide, Bako dutifully honoured the invitation. But on arrival, he was kept incommunicado for several hours, and finally taken to Abuja in the night.
“The PDP in Kaduna State is determined and totally committed to a peaceful polls and will not be dragged into any violence.
“No member or supporter of the PDP will be involved in breaking the law. In the same manner, the PDP is serious about ensuring that every vote cast in the state counts. We call on our members and supporters to vote in all the elections.”
He described the arrest as “illegal”, adding that the PDP was exploring all legal possible means to secure Bako’s release.
Bello-Sarki also alleged that the Kaduna State government has perfected plans to intimidate all PDP members in the state and coerce all voters in Kaduna to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP chieftain insisted that each individual must be allowed to vote the party of his or choice and stated that all votes must count during the elections.
“The plan is to arrest our members over alleged hate speech during campaign rallies. The intention is to send fears and weaken the spirit of the campaign, and to ultimately stir crisis in the state.
“They must ensure that their votes are counted, recorded and moved to the next collation centre. We are ready to use every legal means to protect our franchise. Nothing will deter us from this,” he said.