The senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe was apprehended by the Department of State Services (DSS), on Friday.
Operatives of the DSS accosted the chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metarllurgy at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja and asked him to be driven to the Services’ headquarters at the Yellow House.
At about 5.00 p.m. on Friday, the operatives stormed the senator’s residence in Apo Legislative Quarters, surrounded the building and caused panic in the vicinity, even as some of the operatives ransacked the house.
They got to the residence with Senator Abaribe, his lawyer, Machukwu Umeh, while his wife, Flora, was also allowed to stay with the operatives for the period the search lasted, even as the DSS operatives were still in the building as of 8.30 pm.
Sources close to the lawmaker said that Abaribe was arrested over issues relating to the bail bond he, along with two others, signed, last year, for the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
But Abaribe, later in the year, asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to revoke the undertaken he took on behalf of Nnamdi Kanu following the man’s disappearance in the aftermath of the raid on his Umuahia, Abia State residence.
He also later applied to the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to discharge him as Kanu’s surety as he had not seen nor heard from the IPOB leader since September 11.
However, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has described the arrest of the lawmaker and the detention of a former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, by the DSS as a clampdown on the opposition by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government.
He expressed the readiness of all the party’s leaders to go to jail and, therefore, challenged the president to come for them.
Secondus, who spoke while leading the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to host a former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Friday, revealed that the party had dispatched its governors to interface with the DSS over Suswam’s detention.
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According to him, whereas PDP governors are doing well in their states and inaugurating projects, their APC counterparts are engaged in acts of corruption but are being protected by the Federal Government.
But he said PDP leaders would not be deterred, adding: “We are bold. We are waiting for you. If you want to come for all of us, come. Nigerians will resist you on that day. They will vote you out.
“You cannot arrest our leaders and intimidate them. It will not work. It will be counterproductive. We will resist your manipulation of elections and we are calling on the international community to open their eyes and look into Nigeria, 200 million people.”
While urging the party’s presidential aspirants to go around the country and campaign to the people, Secondus said: “Let our people know that PDP is alive. Let the Federal Government know that they cannot clamp down on opposition.
“They have taken Suswam in, we have shouted, we sent a delegation of governors yesterday (Thursday) to meet the DG SS.”
The PDP boss declared President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration a failure, saying that Nigerians were yearning for a return of the former ruling party.
He warned the president to ensure that there that there is a free, fair and transparent general election or the country could be thrown into crisis.
“If we have crisis at all here, the West African coast will be covered by IDPs. They can’t accommodate them.
“So, the best Buhari can do for Nigeria, for the goodwill Nigerians are giving to him, is to conduct free and fair elections because he has failed in all ramifications.
“In security, he has failed. In the economy, he has failed. In corruption matter, he has also failed. Nigerians know this. You can’t deceive the people with propaganda and lies. Nigerians have known that APC is a party of lies and propaganda,” Secondus said.
In his remark, former Vice President Abubakar commended the NWC for the way it had run the affairs of the party so far, particularly its conduct of Ekiti governorship primary election.
He affirmed that lack of transparency affected the chances of the party in the past.
“I believe that if we sustain the feat recorded during the governorship primary in Ekiti State in other primaries that will come, this party is destined to reclaim its role and retrieve power generally through our electoral process.
“If there was anything that really affected the performance of this party, it was the way and manner primaries were conducted and how candidates were selected but with the precedent you have set, we are on our way to reclaiming power in 2019.
“This meeting is not intended for anything other than my desire to seek the presidential ticket of the party. I am here to put you on notice and I believe that I should do this before reaching out to other organs of the party. I want thank you and look forward to working with you.
“Whether as presidential candidate or not, you can always expect me to fulfil my obligations as a loyal member,” Abubakar said.
Among prominent personalities in the former vice president’s entourage were former Ogun State governor, Chief Gbenga Daniel; a former PDP national chairman, Okwesilize Nwodo; Duben Onyia, a former Police Affairs Minister, Adamu Maina Waziri; Baraka Sani and Aliyu Mustapha.