Monday’s news that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had ransacked the offices of and picked up Mr Uyi Giwa-Osagie, a lawyer and associate of the PDP presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar came as no surprise to many Nigerians who have become used to the intimidation of the opposition by the ruling APC, using state agencies.
The alleged detention of Mr Uyi Giwa-Osagie shows that the APC government is running scared of the impending victory of the PDP at the presidential polls on the 23rd of February and are now desperately trying to harass members or the opposition and their associates in a bid to weaken their resolve.
Recall that this incident happened hours after the President said live on television that those who were guilty of ballot-snatching should not be subjected to the electoral law as prescribed by the constitution, but that they should be dealt with ruthlessly. The condemnation that greeted the president’s statement was widespread, showing that more and more of the electorate are becoming averse to the combative rhetoric of the APC campaign. It was during the APC campaign that a party chieftain, Godswil Akpabio threatened that Akwa Ibom would see war and the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, was heard on national TV saying foreign election observers would go back in “body bags” if they interfere in Nigerian elections.
Social media commentators have noted that with the postponement of the election, which many say is because the ruling party was interested in staggered elections, the government has shown serious desperation to hold onto power irrespective of the wishes of Nigerians. The harassment and alleged detention of Mr Uyi Giwa-Osagie, however, points to a more sinister plot to stifle the opposition candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Late last year, upon returning from a trip to Dubai, the PDP presidential candidate and his entourage were subjected to an endless search of their aircraft by security agents who in the end found nothing incriminating. Also, the accounts of his running mate, Former Governor Peter Obi and his family members were frozen until the outcry from Nigerians on social media made the government agencies have a rethink.
With the election just a few days away, it is clear that most Nigerians are now aware of the desperation and fear that is in the camp of the APC and that these acts of intimidation and harassment on members of the opposition and threats to Nigerians and international observers is nothing but the final kicks of a dying donkey.
Culled from Punch
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