Police have stopped a Tinubu-Shettima Rally in Niger state.
NewsOnline reports that heavily armed security operatives in Niger State, on Tuesday, stopped a grand lockdown rally to sell the candidacy of the presidential standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kassim Shettima.
The event was organised by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate and National Coordinator of Project 774 for Tinubu/Shettima 2023, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.
The gates of New Bussa Township Stadium in Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State, which was already fully rehabilitated and decorated in readiness for the event billed to commence by 11am, were locked and barricaded by police operatives.
The event billed for 11am could however not proceed as planned because the security operatives locked and barricaded the entrance and turned back journalists and supporters who arrived at the venue as early as 8.30am.
Two trucks of heavily armed Mobile Policemen were stationed at the gate of the stadium while regular policemen locked the gates and prevented supporters from gaining entrance, The Nation reports.
Three pickup vans mounted with guns and filled with heavily armed men of the Nigerian Army were also seen patrolling around the stadium.
A Police operative was quoted to have told newsmen off the record that the order to lock the stadium came from higher authorities.
However, speaking on the development, Niger State Police spokesman, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, said the event was stopped from going on due to fears of a security breach based on credible intelligence available to them.
In his words, “The Police had to take over the venue of the planned rally, as a proactive measure due to intelligence received of likely breach of security at the venue.
“Hence, we have to do the needful to avert any possible attack or hijack by suspected miscreants to cause mayhem and breach of peace in the community.
“The Command will not fold its arms and allow acts of political violence, avoidable loss of life, destruction of properties, and lawlessness.”
Some unconfirmed reports have it that the order to stop the rally was given by Governor Sani Abubakar Bello but at the time of filing this report, neither the Governor nor Senator Abdullahi had reacted officially to the development.