The security clampdown on members of the G-7 governors continued yesterday as truckloads of policemen led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Asokoro police station – CSP Nnanna Amah, stormed the Kano governor’s lodge and attempted to disperse a meeting that was on-going citing ‘orders from above’.
Although the governors stood their ground daring the policemen to do their worse, CSP Amah threatened to arrest them if they refused to cooperate by stopping their meeting immediately.
Governors Muazu Babangida Aliyu, Rabiu Musa kwanwaso, Sule Lamido, Rotimi Amaechi, Governor Murtala Nyako and some top leaders of the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) including chairman of the faction, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje were among those at the meeting.
It was learnt that no sooner had the meeting begun by 7pm yesterday than four truckloads of armed policemen arrived at the lodge and demanded to be allowed into the premise but they were stopped by the security details of the five governors who were already manning the gate to the premises.
In the ensuing commotion outside, the governors stepped out to see what was happening when they were told that policemen were at the lodge demanding to be allowed into the venue of the meeting.
The governors then invited the leader of the police team CSP Amah into the lodge to brief them on his mission; he was on orders to stop the meeting or arrest them.
Citing their rights under the Nigerian Constitution which guaranteed them freedom of association, the governors challenged the police officer daring him to go ahead and arrest them. The DPO was said to have stood aloof for a while before beating a retreat but left his men behind while the meeting continued.
Governor Kwankwaso, who spoke to newsmen at the end of the meeting with officials of the party, confirmed the incident, saying the DPO told them that he had orders from the Presidency to stop their meeting or arrest them.
“I see this as an affront not only on me as a person; because as a citizen of this country I have the right to associate, but I see it as an affront on the entire people of Kano State, since I have their mandate as a governor.
“We have not seen this type of thing even in the dark days of the military and it is unfortunate that this thing would be happening in a democracy where the freedom of every individual is guaranteed,” he said.
His statement was corroborated by Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and National Secretary of the faction, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the nPDP, Chukwuemeka Eze flayed the police action, saying the caucus of the new PDP were meeting to review progress reports, accept the reports of committees and take important steps on the future of the movement.
“Sadly, midway into the meeting, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Asokoro Police Unit, CSP Nnanna Amah, burst into the scene and ordered the meeting stopped, threatening to mobilize troops to abort it if his order was not obeyed. According to CSP Ama he has the directive from the Villa to arrest the Governors if the meeting is not stopped”.
Eze, however, disclosed that before the arrival of CSP Amah, the governors had gone far in their deliberations and mandated its caucus to fashion out modalities for its next meeting to be held immediately after the proposed peace talks with President Goodluck Jonathan to consider the options before them which he said includes; either to remain in PDP or accept the proposal of APC or join PDM, VOA or form a new political party.
Governors Aliyu Wammako of Sokoto and Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara State were absent at yesterday’s meeting but were said to have sent their apologies, which was accepted by the caucus.
Other leaders who attended include Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe State) and Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa State) and former deputy national chairman of the PDP, Sam Jaja.