by Isi Esene
After its embarrassing loss to the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Ayo Fayose in Ekiti, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is apparently throwing all it has into the Osun gubernatorial elections where the incumbent governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola meets stiff opposition from the formidable Sen. Iyiola Omisore.
The Party, in a last ditch effort not to allow the elections go the Ekiti way has deployed its principal officers to Oshogbo and its environs to monitor the elections and accord Aregbesola the needed support.
The presence of Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, the Minister of State for Defence in Osun with a “troop” of military personnel serves little to assuage their fears as the APC, through its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, accused the men in uniform of harassment, assault and illegal arrests.
In a statement released today by the Party and signed by Mohammed, the spokesman narrated his experience after getting arrested with others on Friday night by men believed to be officials of the DSS.
Read about his encounter below:
— The APC spokesman was in the company of Sunday Dare, the Media Aide to APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, and Afolabi Salisu, Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.
— The trio were on their way to the Osun State government House when the incident happened.
“We were being driven to the Government House when we were stopped at a military check point by men in military and DSS uniforms, all hooded and armed to the teeth with AK-47 assault rifles, pistols and other weapons.”
— The security men didn’t care who the APC National Publicity Secretary was; introducing himself didn’t quite make a difference.
“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!”
— Mohammed thinks the security men had a heavy dose of thugs and ex-militants in their midst. Here’s what he observed:
“From our encounter with our tormentors, there is also no doubt that these were not just soldiers and DSS officials, there were also ex-militants and thugs, all clad in military and DSS uniforms but apparently lacking in any training!”
— After getting arrested and ferried to the DSS State Headquarters, the APC stalwarts reportedly met people detained in inhumane conditions.
“There, we met people who had been previously arrested and stripped of their clothing, many of them bloodied from the beatings to which they must have been subjected.”
— The arrest apparently ended in an anti-climax as Mohammed, Dare and Salisu were not only allowed to keep their clothes on but also set free by an unknown “senior DSS official” who intervened.
“We were waiting for our turn to be stripped of our apparels and taken along with those who were arrested earlier to the DSS cells when a man who is apparently a senior DSS official intervened and ordered our release.
— The DSS officials who allegedly arrested the Party men were not impressed and they could not hide their disgust…
“…The men who arrested us, apparently unhappy at the order to set us free, rejected the order, until the man asserted his authority and even accompanied us to where we were arrested from.”
— Their driver was discovered to have been beaten and dispossessed of his personal belongings and Pres. Goodluck Jonathan somehow had a hand in the ‘heist’.
“Back there, we discovered that our driver has been badly beaten and even robbed of his personal belongings by the same security agents being paid by the taxpayers to protect the citizens, whose ranks have now been swelled, willingly, by thugs and ex-militants, armed and dressed in official uniforms by the PDP and sanctioned by the Jonathan-led Federal Government!”
…There is God o!
— If for some strange reasons you believe that this arrest was about the APC chieftains then you’re wrong; it is, according to the detained men, about the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of Nigerians, ordinary Nigerians, to move around freely…
“This arrest is not about Lai Mohammed, Sunday Dare or Afolabi Salisu, whoever we may be, but about the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of Nigerians, ordinary Nigerians, to move around freely, associate with any party of their choice and express their opinions without being molested or arrested.”
— The Obanikoro factor…
“We have no doubt that the anarchic Minister of State for Defence and Minister of Police Affairs, who are leading the “troops” in Osun as they did in Ekiti, are taking their cue from President Jonathan. If those Ministers can move around freely in Osun and elsewhere, why can’t other Nigerians, irrespective of the party they belong to?
— And the bonus shot goes to Anambra’s Chris Uba.
“If a PDP hireling like Chris Uba can be put in the command of 50 soldiers of the Nigerian Army, why should anyone still be under any illusion that the Nigerian Army is still serving the nation? Where else in the world is a thug commanding disciplined forces?”