The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Lai Mohammed, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of being behind his ordeal in the hands of the masked security agents who arrested him on Friday, in Osogbo, Osun State.
The APC spokesman described his arrest by the security men as an act of illegality and intolerance by the Jonathan administration. He claimed he was arrested because he was a member of the opposition party.
“Our party, the APC, has no doubt whatsoever that the depravity being exhibited under President Jonathan’s watch, in the name of politics, has his imprimatur. We have no doubt that elections, which should be a celebration of democracy, have now been turned to war because of the desperation of President Jonathan to win re-election at all costs,” he said.
In a statement issued and signed by him in Osogbo on Saturday, shortly after he was released, Mohammed said he was arrested along with Mr. Sunday Dare, the media aide to the APC chieftain, Bola Tinubu, and the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Ogun State governor, Mr. Afolabi Salisu.
Narrating his ordeal, he said, ‘’We were being driven to the Government House when we were stopped at a military checkpoint by men in military and DSS uniforms, all hooded and armed to the teeth with AK-47 assault rifles, pistols and other weapons. Since there was no curfew in Osun State and people were moving around freely, we felt it was a routine check.
“Suddenly, the men, some of them apparently drunk, ordered us out of the car, took our phones, pointed their assault rifles at our heads and said “you are under arrest”. They herded us into their bus like animals and drove away. There is no doubt that they knew who we are because I introduced myself.”
According to the APC spokesman, the securitymen also had in their ranks ex-militants and thugs dressed in military and state security service uniforms, also alleging that his driver was beaten and robbed by the agents.
“We, Lai Mohammed, Sunday Dare and Afolabi Salisu are just fortunate to be alive. The guns pointed at our heads by drunken armed men could have gone off. Since our arrest took place in the dark, we could have been driven to an unknown destination and shot dead. This is a dangerous time for Nigeria and her democracy.
Mohammed chastised Jonathan for the heavy deployment of security operatives during the Osun governorship election and urged Nigerians to protest against the action.
He said, “Again, we call on President Jonathan to stop deceiving the world. In one breath, this President says he is committed to credible elections and that his political ambition is not worth the life of any Nigerian. In another, he sanctions state-sponsored harassment, intimidation and even killing of ordinary Nigerians by security forces that are now the enforcement arm of the ruling party, all in the name of politics.
“He desecrates national institutions by willfully using them against the opposition. This is not the democracy that many of our compatriots fought and died for. This is not the Nigeria that was envisaged by our past heroes. It is time for all concerned to step in and stop President Jonathan before he brings the country crashing down on our heads.”
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room which is a coalition of 70 civil society groups which monitored the Osun State governorship election has asked security agents to investigate the alleged arrest of some leaders of the All Progressives Congress.
This is contained in the preliminary report issued by the group and made available to our correspondent by one of its coordinators, Mr. Clement Nwankwo.
The group commended the people of the state for trooping out to exercise their franchise.
The report read, “We commend the people of Osun State for their turnout and the peaceful and orderly manner with which they have conducted themselves thus far.
“We recognise that in majority of the polling stations, materials arrived on time, accreditation started in good time and election officials have carried themselves professionally.
“We have received allegations and counter allegations of arrests and intimidation. We wish to call on all the relevant government agencies in particular the Inter Agency Task Team on Security to please investigate and inform the public on the truth behind these allegations. This needs to be done urgently to ensure that we maintain the public faith in the process.” ——by @UC Browser