Abuja lock down as Jonathan declares today

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The Police and other security agencies plan to place part of the Central Business District, particularly, the areas around the Eagle Square, Abuja, under a lockdown for the declaration of President Goodluck Jonathan to run for a second term in office on Tuesday (today).

Already, scores of security operatives including policemen, soldiers, operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Department of State Service personnel had cordoned off one of the roads leading to the square.

The Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Peoples Democratic Party members as well as other invited persons are billed to swoop on Eagle Square for Jonathan’s declaration for re-election. There was a beehive of activities at the square on Monday as event planners planted barbed wire around the facility with the PDP flag, and multi-coloured scarves. Canopies, chairs, and other logistics were also being put in place to ensure a hitch-free ceremony.

Meanwhile, the police have advised Abuja residents, especially motorists, to steer clear of the Eagle Square, noting that vehicular movement would not be allowed on the roads leading to the venue of the event.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, in a statement, said that traffic would be diverted between 5am and 8pm of Tuesday.

It said, “This is to alert the public to a major event taking place at the Eagle Square, Abuja on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. “Members of the public are advised to use alternative routes, as vehicles will be diverted from most of the roads leading in and out of Eagle Square Central Business District, Abuja between 0500am and 0800pm on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

“The Nigeria Police Force regrets any inconvenience the diversion of vehicular movements within the area may cause members of the public, as this is one of the proactive security measures put in place to avoid breakdown of law and order in the area and Abuja at large.”

Meanwhile, the Senate has rescheduled its resumption, earlier slated for Tuesday (today), to Wednesday (tomorrow).

A statement signed by the Clerk, Mr. Benedict Efeturi, on Monday did not give reasons for the shift of date. However, one of our correspondents learnt that the decision was to enable the PDP senators to attend the formal second term declaration of President Jonathan, scheduled for Eagles Square, Abuja, today.

But Efeturi requested all senators to resume plenary on Wednesday, November 12, by 10am. The Senate had on Wednesday last week during its abrupt adjournment stage-managed by the PDP senators, rescheduled its plenary session for today. The Presidential declaration of Jonathan at the Eagles Square is less than 400 metres away from the National Assembly.

A source within the National Assembly said, “Since the House of Representatives is not in session although for other reasons, it will not augur well for the Senate to be in session tomorrow (today), when the President would be making his official declaration for the second term in office at a venue that is less than 400 metres away from the Senate.

“Besides, as PDP senators, even if the entire National Assembly is in full session, there is no way we would not have influenced a decision like this in solidarity with our President and the party,” the source added.

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