Some residents of Kaduna, Friday evening, were seen scampering home when they heard of the invitation sent by the police to the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Nasir El-Rufai, and other party bigwigs.
Most shops at the busy Ahmadu Bello Way and central market hurriedly closed their doors while some were seen scrambling to rounding off transactions to rush home.
The Kaduna state Police Command had on Friday summoned Mr. El-Rufai, the APC Senatorial Candidate for Kaduna North, Suleiman Hunkuyi, and a senior member of the APC campaign council, Lawal Yakawada.
The APC chieftains however declined to honour the invitation. Instead they got their lawyer to write to the police to say the matter over which they were invited was already in court.
All three were invited by the deputy commissioner of police in charge of the CID.
Afraid that the invitation might spark violence in the capital, residents deserted the streets while a lot of people were seen gathered in groups discussing the development.
The reasons the men were summoned for questioning is not clear but party insiders suggest the invitation has to do with a petition about destruction of billboards in Zaria.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, Bitrus Gaya, a resident of Malali said the state police command did not act right by plotting to arrest the politicians at this crucial time.
“Knowing how vulnerable Kaduna is to crisis, arresting them on the eve of an election is totally wrong,” Mr. Gaya said. “The police should know that this is a wrong time to arrest them.”
Another resident of Barnawa, Suleiman Atta, also queried the operatives for choosing to summon Mr. El-Rufai and his party members on the eve of the presidential election.
” I wonder if the security operatives care about the people. At the eve of presidential election and you are trying to arrest opposition bigwigs. What does that mean? You are inviting trouble,” Mr. Attah said.
Security operatives are now positioned at major junctions and strategic locations in the state capital.
Meanwhile, the APC says it has been alerted of a plot to arrest some of its chieftains in Southern Kaduna.
The APC campaign spokesperson, Samaila Aruwan, said if the party chiefs are arrested, they could be detained till after the elections.