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APC Accuses Jonathan Government of Intimidating Opposition Leaders
By Adedayo Ogunleye, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, – led Goodluck Jonathan government of deliberate attempts to harass and intimidate opposition figures, especially in the run-up to the general elections now scheduled for March 2015.
The party’s national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, in press statement issued Thursday in Lagos, stated that the recent military siege on the Lagos residence of the APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, the Imo State Government House residence of Governor Rochas Okorocha, and the subsequent siege by mobile policemen on the residence of APC’s presidential campaign spokesman, Garba Shehu, in Abuja, all fit into a pattern of harassment and intimidation to which the party has been calling the public’s attention.
It also said that key national leaders of the party have been placed under surveillance by security agents.
”As the elections approach, we know the harassment and intimidation will be stepped up. We know our leaders, including the National Chairman Chief John Oyegun, National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Gov. Rotimi Amaechi, former Gov. Timipre Sylva, Senator Bukola Saraki and National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, are under surveillance and their phones being hacked,” the APC alleged.
The party stated further: ”We are aware that several of them, especially the National Publicity Secretary, have been marked down for arrest in the days to come. We know there are evil plots to frame some of them on trumped-up charges. We know our lives are in danger. But these and more will not deter us from continuing to act in the national interest or from seeking to effect change through the ballot box.”
Thanking Nigerians for their unwavering support since the elections were re-scheduled for March, the party noted that the postponement was specifically aimed at dampening the enthusiasm of those who had embraced the message of change, and urged supporters of the APC not to relent.
”We are glad that instead of weakening the resolve and enthusiasm of Nigerians, the Presidency-orchestrated postponement has further galvanized them to be more determined not only to vote but also to defend their votes,” it stated.
The APC called on Nigerians to demand and insist “that the elections be held as rescheduled, that there will be no interim government or tenure elongation”, stating also that Nigerians have the power to forge change with their voter’s cards.
Calling on President Jonathan to “remember the verdict of history and put his dogs of war on a leash”, the party said that the president should realize that history will judge no one but him even for the actions of his supporters, who are all acting in his name.
Tinubu had raised an alarm on Monday that armed soldiers had besieged his Lagos residence over the weekend, stating that “no act of intimidation from the Federal Government can cause him to back down in his struggle for change in Nigeria”.
PM News reported that the soldiers were first noticed on Sunday, a few minutes to 11 pm in an army truck. They were stationed about 500 metres away from Tinubu’s gate.
“The stern looking soldiers were around for hours on Sunday and returned on Monday to continue their surveillance. Monday night about 10.45pm, they returned to the residence in two army vans and were there throughout the night, the newspaper reported.
Shehu on Thursday also reported sighting heavily armed mobile policemen amassing around in residence in Garki, Abuja.