Updated: March 1, 2021
Once seen as a messiah and solution to Nigeria’s political and economic doom, President Muhammadu Buhari is looking more like a bloody dictator who would stop at nothing to cling to power, including removing the chief justice just days to elections, and ordering behind the scene the postponement of the presidential poll on the same day millions were already heading to the voting units, a former ally suggested on Sunday.
Worse, after he was declared winner by the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission went after the man who refused to congratulate him, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who came second in the election, but alleged massive rigging by Buhari and his All Progressives Congress party.
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The EFCC on Saturday invaded the home of Alhaji Babalele Abdullahi, son in-law and finance director of Atiku’s group of companies in Abuja and arrested him.
And as Atiku continued to vow he would not congratulate Buhari as he heads to court, there were fears he may be arrested by Buhari, a former military dictator and retired Major General.
Several people have condemned the harassment of Atiku’s man just days after the presidential election and ahead of the governorship polls.
In a statement, Atiku himself vowed again to reclaim his “stolen mandate” despite threats and harassment.
A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Timi Frank summarized the outrage being generated in a statement on Sunday to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.
Frank asked the National Peace Committee led by General Abdusalam Abubakar to “call President Muhammadu Buhari to order over unnecessary arrest and intimidation of people loyal to the presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party”.
Frank described it as an “act of terrorism and wickedness of the highest order for the President to steal the mandate Nigerians freely gave to Atiku Abubakar” and intimidates his men “using state institutions”.
Frank said the invasion and arrest of Alhaji Babalele Abdullahi, son in-law and finance director of Atiku’s group of companies in Abuja on Saturday, 2 March, 2019, revealed that there were plans to arrest the PDP presidential candidate himself this week.
According to him, unless General Abdusalam’s committee prevail on Buhari to drop the idea of getting Atiku arrested, the peace committee might not be able to make peace any longer.
The EFCC agents numbering about two dozen who came in 2 regular vehicles, an 18-seater Toyota bus and a hilux van were reported to have stormed the house and office of Babalele and found nothing incriminating.
But Frank said the intimidation and harassment of Atiku’s men started even before the election with Tunde Ayeni, Uyi Osagie and now Babalele Abdullahi.
“Meanwhile the president himself has not been able to tell Nigerians how he suddenly acquired Keystone Bank and Etisalat. Buhari’s wife is yet to exonerate herself in the 2.5 billion involving her ADC. She has not told Nigerians how she acquired money to build mansion in Adamawa and several other places,” Frank alleged
While calling on the international community and most especially the Abdulsalam’s peace panel to quickly intervain before the situation get out of hands, Frank said all efforts to discourage PDP’s presidential candidate from retrieving his mandate through court of law will not work.
“I call on all Atiku’s supporters to rise up to the occasion and not to give in to blackmails by the APC administration to frustrate the PDP and its presidential candidate.
“The National Peace Committee must rise up to ensure that no evil happen to Atiku and if the committee can not assure us the safety of Atiku Abubakar, Nigerians and his supporters might be left with only option of doing the protection by themselves.”
The political activist, therefore, demanded the immediate release of Alhaji Babalele Abdullahi, who is the director of finance in Atiku’s group of companies, calling on the president “to search within his administration if he is looking for thieves, as he is currently presiding over the most corrupt government in Nigeria, where those that have looted the nation are now being giving protection,” Frank stated.