The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the search and alleged harassment of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, by security agencies earlier today at the Abuja International Airport on his return from Dubai.
In a statement issued by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said security agents invaded Atiku’s aircraft with dangerous weapons to conduct a violent search.
It further stated that the security officials tampered with his personal documents and gadgets.
The statement read in part, “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns in the strongest terms the unleashing of a special security squad of army, police and paramilitary agencies by the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency to physically harass our Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, at the Abuja airport, upon his return from Dubai.
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“It was shocking when the deadly squad, in a Gestapo style attack, and acting on ‘orders from above’ rushed our candidate immediately he landed and attempted to physically manhandle him before invading his aircraft with dangerous weapons to conduct a violent search.
“While they did not find anything incriminating on our Presidential candidate, this deadly squad, violently tampered with certain personal documents and gadgets belonging to him, including some of his campaign documents.
“The PDP completely rejects such violence against the person of our Presidential candidate by the Buhari Presidency, which we know has been jittery over Atiku Abubakar’s soaring popularity since his emergence as our candidate”.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, however, reacted to the allegations.
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In a statement signed by him, he described the search as a routine process.
According to him, all incoming passengers on international flights to go through customs, immigration, health and security screenings.
Sirika further explained that while it is true that the Task Force on Currency at the airport did the routine action of checking the former Vice President’s travel bag, he was accorded full respect as a senior citizen.
He described the allegations of the party as a mischievous attempt to grab the headlines.