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Soldiers lay siege to Tinubu’s home

 

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

A former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, says soldiers have placed him under surveillance for the past three days.

Tinubu,   in a statement on Tuesday by his Media Office, claimed that the soldiers numbering 30 were first noticed in a truck close to his Ikoyi, Lagos residence around 11pm on Sunday.

A soldier, Capt. Sagir Kooli, who exposed the alleged rigging of the June 2014 Ekiti State governorship election,   had in a video which went viral last week said   that Tinubu’s telephone was bugged by the Department of State Services.

The former governor said in the statement that the soldiers were initially stationed about 500 metres from the gate of his house   before they moved closer.

Tinubu   explained   that on Monday night , the soldiers returned   in two vans and stayed throughout the night.

He claimed that some of them alighted from the vans and walked back and forth in front of the house.

The APC leader,who   alleged that   the vans   were stationed on both sides of the house on Tuesday morning,   vowed not to be intimidated by the government.

He said, “I remain resolute in my advocacy and support for the rule of law. President Goodluck Jonathan’s government has through the service chiefs staged a coup against Nigerians and the 1999 Constitution and now wants to silence his critics. I will not be muzzled through the barrel of the gun.

“The guns and bullets they should use to defeat Boko Haram are now being turned against the opposition and innocent Nigerians.”

Tinubu advised Jonathan not to take Nigeria back to the days that followed the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election and   urged the Yoruba to hold Jonathan responsible should anything happen to him.

He said, “As the scaremongering by the army continues, Nigerians must come to the realisation that the military has abandoned its statutory role and have now being dragged into partisan politics.

“Nigerians and the South-West should hold the Jonathan-led military responsible if any harm or danger comes to Tinubu and his family. The case of the Unknown soldier is too recent in our memory.”

In a separate statement, the Lagos State chapter of the APC described the development as unfortunate and an evidence that Jonathan was abusing the military.

The statement by the state Publicity Secretary of the party,   Joe Igbokwe,   noted that soldiers were used in harassing and arresting leaders of the APC in Ekiti State during the governorship elections.

It described the abuse of soldiers as ‘‘an act of desperation being perpetuated by a dying regime.’’

The party said while Chad and Niger Republic were deploying soldiers to fight Boko Haram, the Federal Government was using soldiers to intimidate the opposition.

The statement read in part, “We see the attempt to intimidate and harass Tinubu as one of the desperate efforts by a dying regime to arrest the forces of history and warn that the PDP and the Jonathan presidency are struggling in vain for nothing will save them from being thrown to the dumpsite of history.

“A nation that is being assailed with the sordid details of the misuse of the army to rig elections for the PDP in Ekiti is today being treated with the scenario of using the same army to intimidate opposition forces so as to procure another extension for a failed regime that ranks not only as the most corrupt but the most clueless and incompetent in the history of the country.

“It is a pity that when poor countries like Niger and Chad are sending troops to fight insurgents in Nigeria, our own troops are being deployed to fight the opposition and intimidate the nation for the sole purpose of forcing through the dead ambition for continuation by a failed and bankrupt regime.”

However, the Deputy Director of Information, Nigerian Army 81 Division, Col. Mustapha Anka, denied that   soldiers were deployed to monitor Tinubu.

Don’t play politics with insecurity, EU tells FG

The European Union Election Observation Mission has however cautioned the Federal Government against playing politics with insecurity in the country.

The mission which expressed concern over the postponement of the general elections,     challenged the   security agencies to support the Independent National Electoral Commission in the conduct of the general elections on March 28 and April 11.

The EUEOM Chief Observer, Santiago Fisas, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, acknowledged the different views by stakeholders on the postponement of the   elections.

He said, “We are seriously concerned at this delay and the reason given. Security is critical but must not be political. People have to be able to vote, elections have to be held so that government is accountable. We look to the security agencies to give full support to INEC and all the people of Nigeria in the holding of polls on   March 28 and   April 11.”

While commending the peaceful reactions by stakeholders to the polls’ postponement, Fisas said that the EU would continue to monitor the electoral process in Nigeria.

He encouraged all the political parties, their candidates and other stakeholders to consider the extra time as an opportunity to prepare better for the elections.

“The EU EOM commends the peaceful reaction so far to the postponement and will continue observing the electoral process. We encourage all political parties, candidates, supporters and other stakeholders to consider the extra time as an opportunity to further prepare for the election days. More voters can collect their Permanent Voter Cards, candidates can elaborate on their proposed policies,” the   Chief Observer said.

Fisas emphasised that for citizens to have confidence in the electoral process, the elections should not be further delayed.

“We will be here in different parts of the country observing the next crucial weeks in the run-up to the election and beyond,” he promised.

UN   seeks restraint from politicians

The United Nations also   advised politicians to continue to exercise restraint and keep the electoral process clean ahead of the polls.

Its Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, said the global body was happy that the delay in the conduct of the elections had been accepted by the stakeholders.

Ban’s Special Representative,   Mohammed Ibn Chambas, disclosed this to State House correspondents shortly after a closed-door meeting he had with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday.

“In short, the message is that we appreciate the pure manner in which the electoral process is proceeding, the Secretary-General commends the President and other political leaders to continue on that parth,” he added.

Chambas,   a former President of the Economic Community of West African States Commission, said his visit was a follow-up to telephone conversations the UN boss had with the President and the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, last week.

He added that the UN believed that the delay   would provide an opportunity for   more Nigerians to collect their PVCs .

The Special Representative said, “The Secretary-General told me to commend Mr. President and other leaders of the political parties and Nigerians as a whole for the maturity that has been demonstrated so far in this whole preparation towards the general elections that are now scheduled for later in March.

“We saw first of all the primaries; there were a lot of speculations about how they will go and they transpired in a very calm and peaceful manner.

“The campaigns started, and again Nigerians have demonstrated a lot of maturity in the general manner in which the campaigns have taken place.

“Naturally in periods such as this, there will be heightened tension, heightened rhetoric, but on the whole, we have very little violence associated with this process.

“And this is the same also with the postponement where there were a lot of speculations about what will happen but so far this process has been proceeding in a calm, peaceful and credible manner.

“This is the wish certainly of the UN and also many friends of Nigeria. It is our expectations that all will continue to exercise retraint and keep this process clean. And that at the end of the day Nigerians will all accept the outcome of the vote of the people.”

-Punch

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