Presidential aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, has been denied the use of the Eagle Square for his planned declaration for the position.
The organisation in charge of administering the venue, Integrated Facility Management Service Ltd, rescinded its earlier approval for the former Kano state governor to use the facility saying that it had wrongly granted him approval.
He was billed to make his official declaration for the presidential race on Wednesday.
Kwankwaso had payed the required fee of N2.2 million following which the venue was approved for his use and the approval communicated to him via a letter dated August 20, 2018, signed by Usman Raji on behalf of the company’s General Manager.
But in another letter dated the August 27, 2018 also signed by Raji, the company told the Kwankwaso Campaign that it had rescinded the approval having realised that the political event fell on a working day and would disrupt activities in nearby Federal Secretariat.
The letter stated: “With reference to the approval letter dated 20th August, 2018, granting our approval for the use of Eagle Square on the 29th August, 2018, we are sorry to inform you that the event can no longer hold on the said date because it is a political event, and 29th August 2018 happens to be a work day, as it would disrupt the usual work flow of the federal secretariat.
“We apologise for the oversight on our part to note the date in relation to the nature of the event.
Following the reversal of the approval, it was learnt that the police has sealed up the venue ostensibly to prevent its use for campaign on Wednesday.
Reacting to this development, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), on Wednesday called on Nigerians and the international community to rise against the culture of intimidation and impunity.
A statement issued by its spokesman, Ugo Chinyere, in Abuja stated: “The Information reaching the Secretariat of the CUPP is that the Buhari led APC federal govt working with the Police have just sealed the venue of the tomorrow’s scheduled declaration of Sen.Rabiu Musa kwankwaso for President billed to hold at Eagle Square by 10am tomorrow (Wednesday).
“We are calling on the Nigerian Media, international comunity and the general public to stand up against this latest culture of intimidation and impunity.
“The Attempt to block the venue of the declaration billed to hold at Eagle Square shall be resisted as the venue was fully paid and approved for the event.
“The constant attack on key opposition leaders and use of state force against opposition aspirants cannot stop us from serving Buhari his well deserved Electoral defeat come 2019.”
Meanwhile, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe state, and former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, have become the first aspirants to pick the presidential nomination forms for the ticket of the PDP.
Both men were said to have picked the forms at the Legacy House, Abuja, used as an alternative secretariat by the party hierarchy.
The main opposition party opened the collection of forms for aspirants in Wednesday.
Other expected to pick the nomination forms are former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Senate President, Bukola Sariaki; Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal; former Kano state governor, Ibrahim Shekarau; former Sokoto state governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; former Chairman of PDP’s National Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi, Tanimu Turaki, Datti Babba-Ahmed as well as former Plateau state governor, Jonah Jang.