Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party controlled States on Tuesday took a swipe at the leadership style of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governors, under the aegis of PDP Governors’ Forum, after rising from a meeting of the forum held in the inner chamber of the Bayelsa State Governor’s office in Yenagoa said the country is sliding towards dictatorship.
Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Olusegun Mimiko, condemned in strong terms, the alleged invasion of Akwa Ibom State Government House by operatives of the Department of the State Security.
Mimiko, who read the communique of the forum to select journalists, said the invasion was against the spirit, ethos, values and fundamental tenets of democratic norms and tradition, more so with the existence of a duly elected and sworn in governor of the state.
He said, “We insist that the trend must stop henceforth. No democracy survives without a viable opposition in any part of the world and we must also remember to remind the APC that they are the real beneficiaries of the liberal democratic ethos of the PDP.
“We once more advise the DSS to preoccupy itself with the task of ensuring internal security and desist from daily harassing and intimidating members of the opposition.
“We implore the international community, the civil society organisations and human rights activists to caution the All Progressives Party-led Federal Government and to insist that it respects the well entrenched democratic tradition.
“We all have a duty to prevent what looks to us like a steady slide of this country into dictatorship.”
Mimiko said the PDP governors were worried, alarmed and shocked by such desecration, noting that it was an assault on democracy.
He said situation like what happened in Akwa Ibom spelt doom and posed serious danger to the country’s fledgling democracy.
He rued that action was one of the continuous attempts by the APC-controlled government to stifle the opposition.
Of the 13 PDP governors in the country, two governors and four deputy governors were present at the meeting.
The governors were Mimiko and the host, Seriake Dickson, while the deputies that represented their governors were those of Delta, Kingsley Otuaro; Abia, Chris Akomas; Ebonyi, Kelechi Igwe and Kogi, Yomi Awoniyi.
Governors of Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Cross River, Benue, Ekiti and Taraba states did not turn out at the meeting. They also did not send any representatives.
However, it was learnt that most of the governors were not present because of their intention to attend Dickson’s formal declaration for second term on Tuesday.