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KonkNaija Media | May 13, 2016

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2015 Elections: APC resorts to private security guards

2015 Elections: APC resorts to private security guards

| On 15, Feb 2015

Following what the All Progressives Congress described as the growing threat to the lives of its leaders, some of the party’s chieftains have resorted to making private security arrangements.

SUNDAY PUNCH gathered on Friday that part of these arrangements included engaging private security guards (some of which allegedly carry arms) as well as beefing up security in and around their homes and offices.

Some of the party members volunteered this information on the condition of anonymity.

One of them explained that the chieftains were forced to make backup plans because it was becoming clear that the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government would withdraw the services of regular security men as the elections approach.

He said, “We cannot pretend we don’t know what the PDP is up to. There is more to the deliberate harassment of our leaders by security agencies within the last one week.

“First, it was Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Rochas Okorocha; then our Presidential Campaign Director of Media, Mr. Garba Shehu. Only God knows who will be next.

“It was in this same country during election period that Chief Harry Marshal and Bola Ige were killed. Only a careless person will rely solely on government security men who can be withdrawn at any time.”

In Rivers State, the state chapter of the APC said its members were relying on “natural human instincts” to protect party leaders from assassination plots.

The state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chris Fynebone, told one of our correspondents that no matter how the party’s political detractors tried to intimidate its leaders, it would be impossible to eliminate all of them.

The Kwara State Secretary of the party, Mr. Adekanye Olabode, also said the party had written to all relevant security agencies to provide security for its prominent members.

Olabode said, “We cannot do anything that is contrary to the law. So we have taken the legal step. We have also committed our lives to God’s hand who can best secure human lives.”

Similarly, the Akwa Ibom State spokesperson of the APC, Mr. Udobong Samuel, said the soldiers’ siege on Tinubu’s house could mean that none of the party’s candidates was safe in the hands of the security agencies.

He said “When we hear something like this we raise the alarm because if we don’t do this, something else may happen.”

Although the Ogun State chapter of the party declined to give details of its security arrangements, it said it was not leaving anything to chance.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Lai Mohammed, also said the party would rely on the security provided by the Nigerian people.

He noted that the use of security services to serve the interest of those in power was not only weakening their capabilities but also putting democracy at risk.

But reacting to reports that some politicians’ security men were carrying arms, the police said it was illegal for politicians’ private security guards to bear arms.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said, “Any private guard caught with arms will face the consequences of his action; he and his principal will be prosecuted and they risk going to jail for 14 years, that is what the law says.”

Also speaking, the Civil Defence Corps Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Okeh, said the laws regulating operations of private security firms in the country did not permit them to carry arms