The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the continued trial of its member and former governor of Katsina state, Ibrahim Shema by the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The opposition party said it was disheartening that the former governor was only being persecuted in the guise of anti-corruption fight by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“It is obvious today to all and sundry in Nigeria and the diaspora that those under trial by the court on corruption charges are perceived enemies of President Muhammadu Buhari, his party, the APC or political enemies and rivals of some APC leaders in the country, period!” The PDP declared.
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state had earlier also condemned the federal government for its action against Shema.
According to the governor, Shema’s trial was only part of a plot to ruin the opposition and its members ahead of President Buhari’s re-election campaign in 2019.
A statement by the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said the spot light of APC is now on Alhaji Shema, a political son of the late former President, Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’Adua who in a landslide victory, defeated General Buhari in the 2007 presidential election to win the presidency.
“In the same vein, Governor Ibrahim Shema defeated the candidates of the ANPP who were the choices of General Buhari for the governorship election in Katsina state in 2007 and 2011, respectively.
“Nigerians will also recall that Barr Shema as the governor of Katsina state, supported the choice of the former president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR against General Muhammadu Buhari, an indigene of Katsina state in the 2015 presidential election.
“President Buhari and co-travellers cannot understand this and we ask, why? Is it difficult to comprehend the tenets of democracy and the rights of citizens to free choice of candidates and parties?
“For the records, these trump-up charges, arrests and trial of Alhaji Ibrahim Shema are part of the APC’s plan to intimidate, harass and blackmail opposition leaders around the country in order to silence them ahead of the 2019 general elections,” the party said.
The PDP described Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema as remains one of the most performing governors of the PDP adding that he is known for his infrastructural development and implementation of people-oriented policies and programmes that uplifted the lives of his people within the period of his administration.
The party noted that it does not support corruption no matter who is involved, but disagrees with the selective persecution of PDP leaders and members by President Buhari and the APC.
It accused the APC of continually shielding all its members accused of corrupt practices including even those with hard evidence linking them to various acts of stealing and defrauding of state funds.
“For instance, Nigerians still awaits the arrest and trial of the former governor of Rivers state and minister of Transport, the minister of Science and Technology, the current chairman of EFCC, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Chief of Staff to the president who are still battling with integrity issues due to several allegations of corruption leveled against them and more.
“Most importantly, what has happened to Jafaru Isah, a political friend of President Buhari who was also accused of collecting monies from the former (National) Security Adviser? None of these people are standing trial and none of them are in Court for prosecution because they are members of the APC.
“We therefore further call on the APC-led administration to stop the persecution of political opponents in Nigeria for its false corruption chase.
“President Buhari and co should leave Ibrahim Shehu Shema alone and instead devote the same state resources to improve our economy and address the various security issues in the country,” the party said.