The Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasir el-Rufai, was on Saturday in Awka prevented from moving out of his hotel room to monitor the Anambra Governorship Election currently ongoing.
Mr. el-Rufai told the News Agency of Nigeria at the `Finotel Hotel’ where he lodged that some armed men of the State Security Service (SSS) restrained him from moving out of the hotel to monitor the election.
He said: “I arrived in Awka by 7 p.m. on Friday and had a brief session with the APC candidate, Senator Chris Ngige. When I came out to have my dinner, I saw three heavily armed SSS officers at the hotel.
“I asked them why they were following me; they told me that they were protecting me because Awka is not safe.
“I told them that I came with my own security. This morning, as I was about to have breakfast, they blocked the corridor and tried to restrain me from going out but I pushed by and went to the restaurant to eat.
“After my breakfast, I will be going to the APC Situation Room in town to monitor the election. I am being unlawfully detained here,’’ he said.
At this point, one of the SSS men entered the restaurant and confiscated the reporter’s tape recorder and deleted the recorded interview before returning it to her.
When contacted on telephone, the Director of SSS in the state, A.U. Okeiyi, confirmed the report, saying that Mr. el-Rufai was being protected.
“el-Rufai is not an ordinary person. If anything happens to him, they will blame the security,’’ he said.
Heavily armed security men were seen guarding the premises of the hotel.
PREMIUM TIMES, however, observed that Mr. el-Rufai left his room accompanied by Senator Osita Izunaso and others at about 12.30 p.m. reportedly for the AIT studio.