National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday raised the alarm that his Bourdillon, Ikoyi Lagos residence has been put under surveillance by battle-ready and helmet-wearing soldiers for three days but declared “I will not be intimidated by this show of strength, intimidation and possible harassment.”
The media officer to Tinubu, Mr Sunday Fadare, explained in a statement that, “for three straight days, the private residence of the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, has been under surveillance by battle-ready and helmet-wearing soldiers. Numbering close to thirty and riding in three patrol vans and an army trucks stationed close to the entrance of the gate to Tinubu’s house along Bourdillon Road in Ikoyi, they have become a permanent feature.
“Their obvious target, Tinubu himself, and perhaps the hordes of politicians and visitors that visit his Bourdillon residence.
“The soldiers were first noticed on Sunday a few minutes to 11pm in an Army truck. They stationed about 500 meters away from Tinubu’s gate. Later they moved close to his gate as if making efforts to enter. The stern looking soldiers were around for hours on Sunday and returned on Monday to continue their surveillance.
“Monday night about 10.45pm, they returned to the residence in two army vans and were there throughout the night. Some of the soldiers discharged from the van and walked back and forth in front of the house and around the house in what is clearly some casing effort.
“This morning, (yesterday) Tuesday, two vans from the army were stationed on both sides of the house along Bourdillon road their missions shrouded in secrecy.”
In his reaction, Tinubu who confirmed the development said: “I will not be intimidated by this show of strength, intimidation and possible harassment. I remain resolute in my advocacy and support for the rule of law.
“Jonathan’s government has through the service chiefs staged a coup against Nigerians and the Constitution and now wants to silence his critics. I will not be muzzled through the barrel of the gun. The guns and bullets they should use to defeat Boko Haram are now being turned against the opposition and innocent Nigerians.”
The incumbent governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, who also condemned the deployment of soldiers to Tinubu’s house accused the Federal Government of redeploying security officials attached to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in the state.
Addressing a campaign rally at Ejigbo Stadium, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, LCDA.
Fashola said: “ They are removing security from INEC in the state and in the last three days, they have deployed soldiers to the home of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Every night now, they send a truck load of soldiers to his home.
“But I have news for them, we will not be intimidated by their actions. Our votes will speak for us. Let me remind the People’s Democratic Party, PDP-led Federal Government that if late President Umar Musa Yar Adua was alive, who was the owner of this mandate, he will be preparing to leave the office now. This year will mark his eight years in office.
“When President Jonathan was seeking for our vote in 2011, he didn’t deploy soldiers to our homes rather he was begging us. He said that he had no shoes and after he assumed office, he has since inflicted pains on us.
“After giving him 1.2 million votes, we have no minister. And that shows that he doesn’t care about Lagos, but we need to let him know that Lagos is unique.”
Commenting on the deployment of soldiers to Tinubu’s house, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, said he had no means of verifying the claim but if it was true, then it is a bad development.
The Lagos State chapter of APC while condemning the military siege, maintained that it was part of President Jonathan’s agenda to hang onto power even as Nigerians have clearly rejected him.
The party in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, said: “Nigerians know that the PDP, its leaders, supporters, enablers dread Tinubu like a pestilence and if the weight of the gargantuan smear campaign and devilish propaganda the PDP has sponsored against the person of Tinubu has failed to sway Nigerians to continue supporting the banditry of PDP governance, it should know that it is struggling in vain.”