Iheanacho Nwosu; Willy Eya; Tunde Thomas; Ndubuisi Orji
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has expressed concern over the alert raised by former President Olusegun Obasanjo of an alleged plot by the government to arrest him on trumped up charges.
He said he was disturbed by the turn of events in the country considering the huge price that was paid for the nation to have democracy.
In a statement made available to Saturday Sun, he advised that government and its agents should retrace their steps to avoid aggravating the already over-heated polity.
Part of the statement reads: “The alert by President Obasanjo is coming against the backdrop of earlier alerts by some leaders, especially those of the opposition of deliberate and orchestrated attempt to intimidate and frame them up.
“I wish to state without equivocation that President Obasanjo is a historical figure in Nigeria’s democracy and that the primary purpose of government is to provide security of lives and property of all citizens and residents irrespective of their status, political affiliation, religious inclination and ethnic leanings.”
The former vice president said Nigeria has lost so much precious lives and property that she can no longer afford to travel that road again and appealed to President Buhari to call the security agencies to order in order to douse the tension in the land.
In the same vein, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also expressed worry over the alarm by Obasanjo that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government is plotting to arrest him on trumped up charges and detain him indefinitely.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the alarm from a Nigerian of Obasanjo status is terrifying.
The party noted that the former president’s alarm has heightened tension in the polity and confirmed its fears that the country is now a police state, where those with contrary views on President Buhari’s re-election bid are endangered.
Part of the statement read: “The alarm by Chief Obasanjo has further shown that the PDP has not been crying wolf regarding the plots by the APC Federal Government to frame, arrest, detain and arraign political opponents of the APC, including regular Nigerians, for holding or canvasing opinions that are divergent to the interest of those in power.
“We invite Nigerians to note the travails faced by perceived opponents of Buhari Presidency including Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Senators Shehu Sani and Dino Melaye, who had raised similar alarms in the past. “The PDP urges Nigerians to note how APC controlled security forces, on Wednesday, arrested and detained opposition members in Ogun State, including a member of the House of Assembly, Hon Adebiyi Adeleye, who were going about their legitimate activities, only to tag them as cultists. “The PDP condemns APC’s resort to persecution, intimidation, harassment and framing of our members, as well as dissenting voices, just to suppress the opposition ahead of the 2019 election.
“PDP wants the APC and Buhari Presidency to note that no amount of coercion, intimidation and illegal arrests will alter the determination of Nigerians to vote out the dysfunctional APC and rescue our nation from the shackles of the Buhari Presidency and its misrule, come 2019.”
Also, the Yoruba pan-socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere has called on the Federal Government to lower the rising tension in the country following the allegations by Obasanjo.
Speaking through its spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere, urged the Federal Government to tread with caution.
“We are worried by the rising tension in the country, and we hereby call on the Federal Government to lower the tension. We are worried that Obasanjo’s allegations is coming up on the heels of allegations of budget padding against the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and armed-robbery allegations against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
“Obasanjo’s allegations should not be dismissed with a wave of the hand. Federal Government should respond to Obasanjo’s allegations. We don’t think a former president will just wake up and start making frivolous claims,’’ Odumakin said.