Police Stops Tinubu Campaign In Niger State As Lawmaker Lock Horns With Party Executives
- January 31, 2023
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Dozens of security operatives today disrupted a campaign rally organised for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State.
The “Grand Lockdown Rally” billed to hold at the New Bussa Township stadium in Borgu, is organised by Project 774, a political group under the leadership of Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North).
Senator Abdullahi, who is the Deputy Whip of the Senate, had invited the Niger State Working Committee of the APC to the campaign rally.
The invitation letter signed by his Special Assistant (operations), Hon. Mohammed Garba Danladi, was addressed to the state Party Chairman, Hon. Haliru Zakari Jikantoro.
“I am directed to invite you and your exco to the Grand Lockdown Rally in honour of Jagaban Borgu and Kashim Shettima, our party Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates, Hon. Mohammed Bago, with Comrade Yakubu Garba as Gubernatorial and Deputy Governorship Candidates for Niger State in the 2023 General Elections.
“In view of the need to galvanize support and positively enhance the chances of our party in the forthcoming elections, we wish to solicit and count on your unflinching support towards the success of the rally,” the letter read.
But the party’s state executive disassociated itself from the rally, asking all party faithful not to attend.
A statement by the state publicity secretary, Mallam Musa Dan Sarkindaji, said the planned rally contravene the unified campaign structure as designed by the party.
The party instead urged its executives, stakeholders, and supporters to attend the grand zonal rally which is scheduled for tomorrow in Bida, the headquarters of the Bida local government.
When our correspondent visited the New Bussa township stadium, dozens of personnel from the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Federal Road Safety Corps blocked the entrance, preventing APC supporters from accessing the campaign venue.
When approached, some security agents, who preferred not to be named because they were not authorized to speak, said they were mobilized to the venue to prevent access on “directive from the above.”
The Police spokesman in Niger, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, said security operatives were mobilized to the campaign venue to prevent a breakdown of law and order having got intel of a likely breach of security.
In a terse statement, Abiodun said, “The Police had to take over the venue of the planned rally as a proactive measure due to intelligence received of likely breach of security at the venue.
“Hence, we have to do the needful to avert any possible attack or hijack by suspected miscreants to cause mayhem and breach of peace in the community.
“The Command will not fold its alms and allow an act of political violence, avoidable loss of life, destruction of properties, and lawlessness.”
The dissociation of the APC state working Committee from the rally laid bare the cold war between Governor Bello, who is in control of the party’s structure in the state Senator Sabi Abdullahi, the organizer of the rally.
The senator, who currently occupies the Niger North senatorial seat, contested the APC ticket to retain the seat despite pressure to step down for the governor, a development that pitched him against the state executive.
The governor won the primary and since then, both of them have not been in good terms.
The poster of the governor, who is the APC senatorial candidate, is conspicuously missing at the venue of the planned campaign organized by the senator.