By Uche Amunike
Policemen stormed the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Monday in Abuja.
The Secretary of the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, Senator John Akpanudoedehe disclosed that the policemen were at the secretariat on invitation to protect lives and property based on a security report.
About 10 Hilux Pick-up Petrol vans fully loaded with policemen were strategically positioned along Blantyre Street where the party secretariat is situated.
Four police vans were positioned around the main secretariat gate while six others were stationed at the three major entrances to the street, while another set of six non-branded vehicles were also on surveillance in the vicinity.
The only people allowed entrance into the secretariat were Party employees, reporters and visitors.
Members of the public went about their businesses undisturbed, but the Car Park outside the secretariat was cordoned off and nobody was permitted to park outside the secretariat.
Senator Akpanudoedehe maintained that the policemen were there on invitation by the party, calling it a proactive measure following an undisclosed security report and said that the invitation was for them to strengthen the leadership of Governor Mai Mala Buni and to protect lives and property.
Hear him: ‘The police is here to strengthen the leadership of Governor Buni, the Caretaker Chairman of the APC. What do I mean by that? Whenever you read a security situation, Whenever we are privy to a security report, it is incumbent on our part to strengthen the Secretariat so that we can protect the lives and property of APC members.’
‘APC cannot be embarrassed because this is a national government, therefore we take measures to restore any happenings. We cannot underestimate security reports. We cannot play down on it. We have a security report. We can’t take laws into our hands and you can’t expect us to call thugs to defend the National Secretariat. The right thing to do is to inform the police and the SSS that they may know what has happened’ ,he reiterated.
‘We are going to take more measures. Another measure we want to take is that if you don’t have your face mask, because of the Delta Variant, you will not be able to come to the National Secretariat. That doesn’t mean that the Air Force has taken over the Secretariat because of the extension of COVID-19. So that is what it is. It’s a measure to protect property and lives.’
‘If you have a protest and now you, a media man, may be killed or brutalized, it will be big news that somebody has been shot at the National Secretariat. It is our responsibility as managers of this party to put measures to protect you, your lives, and your property’, he further stated.’
‘No one should take anything for granted as little as rumour. We must have to put everything in place, even the one that is not verifiable. We must put it in place because we cannot be embarrassed.’
‘I am privileged to have been the Minister of FCT. I am privileged to have been a Local Government Chairman. I am privileged to have sat on the Federal Executive Council and I have been privileged to have sat as member, Security and Intelligence Committee of the Senate. So what we consider to be a threat is not what you consider to be a threat. A mere word that you passed by, we would heighten it because we don’t want to be embarrassed’, he continued.
When asked if the heavy police presence had anything to do with the position of the chairman being under threat owing to the supreme court judgement, he dismissed the insinuation, saying: ‘How can the Chairman position be threatened? No, his position is not threatened. Don’t carry rumors. Read the judgment of the Supreme Court. The chairman is as firm as ever’, he concluded.