The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar has said the introduction of militia into the nation’s Democratic lexicon portends huge danger while calling on the intelligence and security agencies, election observers as well as the international community to investigate sponsors of “Jagaban Soldiers.”
Atiku also warned against the development where a serving cabinet minister of President Muhammadu Buhari is abusing his previlage by bullying and intimidating an institution of government.
Addressing a world press conference, Sunday in Abuja, the Atiku Presidential Campaign Council in a statement signec by Director, Strategic Communication, Bashorun Dele Momodu, Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar, Paul Ibe, Spokesperson Presidential Campaign Council, Daniel Bwala, Special Assistant, Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar, Phrank Shaibu and Spokesperson Presidential Campaign Council, Charles Aniagwu said, “Recently the presidential candidate of APC via his agents has created a militia called “Jagaban Soldiers” and “Batalions” for the alleged purposes of executing his political agenda which could have a wider implication to the peaceful conduct of elections and the human rights of the citizens of Nigeria. Only God knows what their plans are, but it is predictable because the militia was created shortly after the leaked video of the candidate of APC in London calling on his followers and members of APC to embark of widespread violence towards the election. The video has been in the public domain.
“Also shortly after his declaration violence has visited several states by members of APC on opposition in rallies, homes, streets etc. The creation of militia has never happened in the history of politics in Nigeria until now. We call on Nigeria’s security and intelligence platforms to investigate and where necessary arrest all those involved including the presidential candidate of APC. We also call on the domestic and international election observers majority of them are already here in Nigeria. We also call on the ECOWAS, US, UK, European Union and other development partners to look into this obvious threats to the peaceful conduct of elections.”
The minister of state for Labour and Employment, who also doubles as the Chief Spokesperson for the Tinubu Presidential campaign, Festus Keyamo recently dragged Atiku to court over alleged corruption while in office, but in his response, Atiku through his spokesperson said, “You will recall that recently a serving minister of APC government has written a letter to agencies of the government who are the same members of the executive branch of government and demanded that in 72 hours they should prosecute a presidential candidate of PDP (Atiku Abubakar).
“In their press conference they bragged about their powers and control of the law enforcement. He, whilst serving as a a cabinet member and campaign spokesman uses the tax payers money and official privilege and powers to heavily compromise the agencies of government. This is even coming amidst the widespread allegation of corruption involving the minister and the 52 billion naira approved to his ministry for empowerment of 774 LGA Nigerians. The National Assembly had called for investigation of how the project was executed and until now the issue has not been told too the Nigerian people. This singular conduct has brought the government of president Buhari to disrepute and threatening the legacy he said he will leave behind. It is believed now that president Buhari who recently was reported as saying cabinet members should focus on governance and not be involved in the campaign has since made a U-turn and task on his cabinet members to influence the agencies of government in favour of APC.
“Members of the opposition are reported to be increasingly invited by law enforcement for one question or the other in other to weaken the opposition. We call on the president to sack the minister of state for labour and employment forthwith for using official position funded by tax payer’s money to interfere with the conduct of a free, fair and credible elections. We also call on the president to read the riots act to agents of the government from inter fearing with this election. Any effort to intimidate opposition is an effort to interfere with the conduct of a peaceful elections.”
Atiku also warned against increasing threats to life allegedly by members of All Progressives Congress who draw their strength from the declaration by the presidential candidate in London that members should at all cost grab, snatch and run with his mandate.
“Personally i fear for my life from the various threats i get from the candidate and his campaign. If anything happens to my life, the nation and international community should hold Tinubu and his campaign responsible.”