ARREST TINUBU, RUIN CREDIBILITY OF APRIL POLLS, ACN WARNS FG
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has warned that arresting its leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the Federal Government plans to do in the run up to next month's general elections, would signal the death knell for President Goodluck Jonathan's much-voiced pledge to make the elections free, fair and credible.
'If the Asiwaju is arrested in line with the well-laid out plan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to put him out of circulation ahead of the forthcoming elections, the government would have only succeeded in shooting itself in the foot and ruining a rare chance to bequeath a legacy of free and fair elections to Nigerians,'' the party warned in a statement issued in Ilorin yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
'We have heard it on good authority that Asiwaju's arrest, over which we have been alerting Nigerians, has finally been ordered and could be effected any time from now, despite assurances from the President that he will not use any unorthodox means to win the forthcoming polls.
'But even the mere fact that the threat to arrest the opposition leader, whom the ruling party sees as the single biggest obstacle to winning next month's elections by hook or crook, has been consistently put out there as a psychological weapon, qualifies as harassment and intimidation of the opposition, and a crude, unfair and unethical means of stifling the opposition ahead of an important election,'' it added.
ACN wondered what offence Aiswaju Tinubu could have committed to warrant such non-stop stalking and a perpetual threat ofarrest by the federal government, especially with just about four weeks to a general election in which his party is a leading contender.
'How does a single man become a threat to the state? What law has Tinubu broken to warrant his arrest? Under what law will Tinubu be arrested? Is he guilty of treason merely on the strength of words mouthed on the hustings? What has he said that President Jonathan has not matched or surpassed?
'Or is the plan to put Asiwaju away a sign of desperation resulting from the obviously flagging campaign of the ruling party and its total rejection by the people of Nigeria? Are they not aware that Nigerians are no fools and cannot be hoodwinked by such a desperate act?
Whoever is selling this idea to President Jonathan does not wish him well, and we urge him to reject what will in the end become a poisoned chalice,'' the party said. It called on all peace-loving Nigerians and the international community to urgently call President Jonathan to order, and save him (President) from those who are bent on ruining what he has considered a legacy – presiding over a free, fair and peaceful election in a nation with an unenviable history of fraudulent and violent polls.