Yesterday’s clampdown on opposition leaders, septuagenarian Chief Bisi Akande and Alhaji Lai Mohammed, National Chairman and Publicity Secretary respectively, of the Action Congress party has been condemned by human rights groups and international watchers of democracy.
A press release signed by the General Secretary of National Democratic Forum (N.D.F), Comrade David Bankole, described the act as an “intolerant descent into a police-state by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)…”
The N.D.F accused the Nigeria Police Force of playing out the repressive scripts of the PDP, wondering why has the police failed to unravel or conclude the numerous assasinations of other leaders (Harry Marshall, Bola Ige, Suliat Adedeji, etc).
The AC leaders who voluntarily reported to the Police Force Headquarters Annex, Obalende, after being subtly invited to find out more about their allegation that plots had been hatched by an unnamed desperate PDP caucus to assassinate former Lagos State Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They came in company of their legal counsel, Prof. Yemi Osibajo (SAN) and other human rights lawyers.
Sources said the police actually looked for the two politicians during the week, especially after the meeting of political parties but when they learnt that they had left Abuja for Lagos, the state command was directed to contact them for their side of the entire saga.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who was also the party’s presidential flagbearer in the 2007 polls, has asked the police to release them.
Also in a statement released by the party in Abuja yesterday, AC said the police had invited its National Chairman Akande and Mohammed to share information with them (police) over the allegation.
“We condemn this brazen attempt to intimidate the opposition. We condemn the use of the police by the PDP-led Federal Government to score a cheap point. We say unequivocally that it is all part of the PDP plan to rig the forthcoming governorship re-run in Ekiti State.
“We call for the immediate release of our spokesman, while putting on notice those bent on silencing the voice of the opposition that no amount of intimidation or harassment will cow us at the AC.”