The People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), in Benue State, has condemned Governor Hyacinth Alia over what they described as “illegal arrest and detention” of one of its supporters and social media influencer, Paul Gyenger, following his Facebook post on palliatives of Benue state.
Gyenger, was arrested and detained last Friday on allegations that he posted on social media that Governor Hyacinth Alia had misappropriated palliative funds he received from the Federal Government that were meant to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy on the people of the state.
Reacting to the arrest, the PDP, through its State Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, accused the Governor of instigating the police to arrest and detain the young man
While he described the act as an infringement on his right of opinion, Bemgba vowed that the party would not take the arrest of the young man lying down.
He said, “We learnt that the petition by the Governor directing the police to arrest Gyenger emanated from the Chambers of Mnyim in Makurdi.
“And the content (of the petition) states clearly that they are under the explicit briefs of the Governor of Benue State to the effect to request the Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecute Paul Gerger for having written in a social media post alleging that Governor Hyacinth Alia has misappropriated the N2 billion naira for the people of the State.”
The party said they are surprised that “the Governor has the time to go to the police on an issue that ordinarily should be considered as civil in nature because you are looking at a case of a citizen having written in public space questioning the application of public funds and the Governor has instituted a petition to arrest and prosecute this young man.
“We find this very very surprising that while Benue state is bleeding, insecurity, poverty are at endemic level yet, the Governor has the time to arrest Paul Terhemba Gerger.
“We as a party because he is part of PDP, we are not taking this lying down. We will resist impunity, irony, authoritarianism, political witch hunt, this persecution that has been the badge of the Alia Government or regime in Benue State.
“We are exploring all legal means at our disposal not just to ensure that the young man get justice served to him but whatever right that has infringed upon is appropriately redeemed. I do not live under fear so long as I am within the armbit of what is permitted to me by law, I have no reason to watch my back.
The PDP has remain the compass by which the APC in the State conduct its affair. Talking about the Palliative, if we had not raised the alarm that there were fears that these Palliatives were going to be mismanaged, then he would not have even seen a reason to come out and say anything about the same Palliatives and by the time he came out, he only validated and confirmed our fears that as of a fact, he has misappropriated the Palliatives already.
“He has gone ahead to dispense money through an approach that is not recognized by law. That is corruption and financial crime and we will not stop to question these misdeed, misdemeanor and act of Alia sole administratorship of Benue State.”
“The Police have denied the young bail and by Monday, he would have been held in detention for 72 hours which is against his fundamental human rights. We will be looking at that aspect when we approach the court to seek justice for the young man who has been so arrested.”