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Police turns Buhari attack dog



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The Nigerian police has been arresting opposition elements believed to be too critical of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government a role the long arm of the law just took on from the Department of State Security.
Political observers said it is a sad development that might not bode well with Nigeria’s democracy.
Jigawa’s former Gov. Sule Lamido was picked up last week by the police, following a petition by the state Gov. Mohammed Badaru Abubakar who accused his predecessor of inciting supporters to disrupt the coming local government election in the state.
Lamido, a PDP stalwart, has been fighting on all fronts since 2015 when Buhari took over. The EFCC took him up along with his sons, in 2015 for misappropriating state’s fund.
He’s still facing a 27-count charge in federal high court in Abuja.
But the police playing the Johnny-on-the-spot is not limited to what critics describe as opposition witch-hunt. Certain members of the ruling APC might have been as well targeted.
Last week, following a tip-off, the police raided the Abuja home of Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation Danjuma Goje, looking for cash the force claimed was stashed away in the Senator home.
The four-hour raid was authorised by Force headquarters in Abuja, and documents, including those of the 2017 budget were taken away along with N18 million, $19000, and 4000 Saudi Riyal.
According to Force PRO Biodun Jimoh, the police action was based on intelligence available that Goje had huge cash suspected to be proceeds of corruption stashed at his home.
Jimoh also said the raid was professionally and lawfully carried out—and that, cash, laptop,
envelopes, and documents were taken away during the bust witnessed by the senator’s daughter house keeper, and nephew.
According to him, the documents contained matters other than the 2017 budget, and they include a document on how former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State allegedly plotted the murder of a cleric, Sheikh Jafaru.
In a volte face, however, the police admitted carting away budget documents—and claimed Buhari intervened in the face off-leading to return of the documents.
The president has intervened in a number of cases like that.
Last August, APC Sen. and Kano ex-Gov. Rabiu Kwankwanso had his own run-in with the police. His house was sealed by armed policemen trying to prevent a mass wedding ceremony Kwankwanso has been sponsoring and organising for widows, widowers, and eligible singles in Kano.
Not that the senator didn’t have some things around his neck. Apart from billions of local government funds he allegedly skimmed when he was governor, he also contested against Buhari in the APC primary in 2014.
“Nigerians should realise that with the bullying of Kwankwaso, a two term governor, former minister of defence and serving senator, it is now very clear that the APC government will even be intolerant of opposition within the party,’ said Ekiti Gov. Ayo Fayose, who has also battled the DSS and police harassing his party men and cronies.
“Men of good conscience should prevail on President Buhari to caution the security agencies to be mindful of foisting tyranny on Nigerians.”
An Igbo trader, Joe Chinakwe, who branded his dog Buhari was also taken into custody sometimes last year—for denigrating the name of Nigeria’s No. 1 citizen.
About two weeks ago, Deji Adeyanju, a critic of the Buhari government and the ruling All Progressives Congress, who planned to organise street protests in the capital Abuja over the secret trial and freedom of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu.
Adeyanju was, however, picked up by the police before he made the move.
Nigerian activists condemned the arrest, saying democracy was in danger in Nigeria and the latest action was capable of spelling doom for the nation.
But Buhari’s aides have always denied he set the police on opposition elements.