Operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, on Friday arrested the Senator representing Abia South on the platform of the PDP, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe at a popular hotel located at Maitama District of Abuja.
Abaribe, who is chairman of the senate committee on power, steel development and metallurgy, is standing surety for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, who regained freedom after 18 months in detention.
Alongside Tochukwu Uchendu and Emmanuel Shallom Ben, Abaribe signed a N100m bond for the bail granted the IPOB leader in April 2017, who has not been seen in public since last September.
Although it is still unclear if the arrest of the critic of President Muhammadu Buhari and his government has anything to do with the disappearance of Kanu, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has reacted, expressing fears over the lawmaker’s safety.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, insisted in a statement that the arrest of Abaribe lends credence to its earlier alarm that the Buhari-led federal government has begun “clampdown” on perceived opposition members.
The main opposition party reiterated that the “gestapo-style arrest of Abaribe” is a pointer that the government has launched an onslaught on opposition elements and perceived opponents to the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The statement added, “The clampdown on Senator Abaribe is feared to be in furtherance of the moves to intimidate and emasculate members of the National Assembly who are known for their outspokenness against the constitutional violations and misrule of the APC administration.
“The PDP notes that the Federal Government has given no reasons for the arrest and detention of Senator Abaribe, who has been kept incommunicado without access to his lawyers and associates.
“The party also notes the apprehension of Nigerians following numerous alleged plots by the Federal Government to frame up other lawmakers, including Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, as well as Senators Dino Melaye and Shehu Sani.
“Nigerians can now see that our dear nation is fast descending into a fascist state where constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech no longer obtains and citizens are marked, arrested and detained on the whims and caprices of those in power.
“The PDP charges the DSS to immediately declare Senator Abaribe’s whereabouts, as well as the charge against him. Moreover, the laws of our nation are clear on the process of arrest and prosecution of any citizen and not recourse to clampdown and intimidation.”
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