Dozens of security operatives on Tuesday disrupted a campaign rally organised for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Ahmed Bola Tinubu in Borgu LGA of Niger State.
The “Grand Lockdown Rally” billed to hold at the New Bussa Township Stadium in Borgu, was moved to another venue following the deployment of security personnel, who allegedly prevented APC supporters from accessing the venue.
The rally was organised by Project 774, a political group under the leadership of Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North).
Senator Abdullahi, who is the Deputy Whip of the Senate, said he had invited the Niger State Working Committee of the APC to the campaign rally.
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But the party’s state executive dissociated itself from the rally, asking all party faithful not to attend.
The party’s state publicity secretary, Mallam Musa Dan Sarkindaji, said the planned rally contravenes the unified campaign structure as designed by APC in the state.
As early as 8 am when our correspondents visited the New Bussa Township Stadium, dozens of personnel from the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Federal Road Safety Corps were stationed at the entrance, preventing access to the campaign venue.
Some security agents, who preferred not to be named because they were not authorised to speak, said they were mobilised to the venue to prevent access on “directive from the above.”
The police spokesman in Niger, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, in a statement, said security operatives were deployed to the campaign venue to prevent a breakdown of law and order having got wind of a likely breach of security.
Despite preventing them from using the venue, Senator Abdullahi and hundreds of his supporters held a road show at another venue to galvanize support for Tinubu and other APC candidates.
The lawmaker, while speaking with reporters, said he could not fathom the reason “force and power was unleashed on my efforts for the party but I took it in good faith.
“If there were going to be any security breaches, I think the method we adopted today would have made that possible but the rally was held peacefully,” he said.