The APC said it has evidence of the action
Soliders, in the late hours of Monday in Adamawa, removed posters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and replaced them with those of Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the opposition party has claimed.
The Interim National Vice Chairman of the APC for the North East Zone, Umar Duhu, told PREMIUM TIMES that soldiers of the 23rd armoured brigade carried out the action ahead of the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the state on Tuesday.
The APC had on Monday inaugurated the state’s interim committee. Mr. Duhu said prior to the event, the party had cause to put up is posters, billboards and fliers across all strategic locations in Yola, the Adamawa capital.
“However, later in the night; immediately after the curfew period has set in, we visibly saw military men with their guns hanging on their necks, busy removing our posters and replacing them with that of the PDP and President Jonathan 2015,” Mr. Duhu said.
Mr. Duhu said his party had evidence of the allegation describing it as “very unbecoming of the military that was supposed to be non-partisan”’
The APC leader advised the military to stay out of politics. He said the military should know that they are being paid with tax payers’ money to protect the integrity of Nigeria, and they are not supposed to be partisan.
We will resist impunity
Mr. Duhu also accused the ruling PDP of trying to intimidate the opposition using the military. He said the APC is ready to face the challenges.
“All this draconian method of ensuring that the president is returned by hook or crook ; we will make sure we resist it, even if it means we will lose our lives, we are ready to lose it to make sure that democracy in Nigeria survives. So we will not allow that,” he said.
He also restated the position expressed by the APC in the past that the PDP had decided to merge with security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
“All we are telling Nigerians is that we are determined to challenge them head on. If you look at all revolutions around the world, the military will continue to shoot the people until they get tired and also drop their guns and join the crowd.
“So we are ready to upturn the system we have today to ensure that probity and rule of law hold supreme in Nigeria and we are ready to do that even if it means we lose our lives in the process,” he said.
Jonathan shields corrupt elements
Mr. Duhu also accused President Jonathan of shielding corrupt elements in his government. He said there was massive corruption involved in the construction of the secondary school built by the Nigerian Air force, which Mr. Jonathan had gone to Adamawa to commission.
Mr. Duhu cited the reported incident of the harassment of journalists by Air force officers just to stop them from witnessing the event and reporting what they saw.
“What happened with the harassment of journalists during the president’s visit is unfortunate. The President said the CDS was appointed because he was prudent with resources, then why were they preventing journalists from taking inventory of the materials there.
“What the president said about the CDS is not correct and that is why people say he is shielding corruption. Anything Jonathan tells Nigerians about corruption is just lies; Nigerians should begin to say no to impunity. Impunity is what is keeping the PDP alive and we are not going to allow it to thrive in Nigeria,” he said.
There were reports that some journalists working for various media houses were stoned by Air force personnel at the venue of the project commissioning.
According to the Guardian Newspaper, the reporters were stoned out of the venue by men of the Air force on an order from an officer suspected to be the head of the school Mr. Jonathan visited to commission.
The paper said trouble started for the journalists at the venue when the Public Relations Officer of 75 Strike Force, Yola, Ishaku Abdullahi, a Flying Officer, asked journalists to wait in one of the classrooms for their accreditation.
It said later on an officer with a nametag A.A. Dogo, suspected to be the head of the school slated for commissioning, came and asked who directed the reporters to sit inside the classroom. But after an explanation from the chairman of the correspondents’ chapel, Umar Dankano, of the Peoples Daily Newspapers, the aggressive officer left without a word.
A few minutes after, another man dressed in a rough suit with a name tag SPA Emmanuel C. Anita, arrived and ordered the reporters who were waiting to be accredited to get out of the venue, saying that their presence was not needed. Before Mr. Dankano could offer some explanations, some men of the Air force started throwing stones at the reporters.
It took the intervention of some military officers from the 23 Amoured Brigade, Yola, to rescue the journalists out of the venue
PREMIUM TIMES tried unsuccessfully to speak to the spokesperson of the 23rd Brigade, Nuhu Jafaru, throughout Wednesday. Several calls to his cell phone failed to connect, and he also did not respond to an SMS sent to him.