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Security agents have launched a probe into the movement of northerners to the South-East and the South-South regions of the country with a view to find out if it has any link with the 2015 general elections.
A security source, who spoke with select journalists in Abuja on Saturday on condition of anonymity, said the probe was as a result of the clamour by the northern region to win the presidency on the platform, especially on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
He said this was the issue being raised with their investigation of some 486 northerners arrested while travelling in a convoy of 33 buses to Abia State on June 16.
He said, “There were allegations that the All Progressives Congress wants to move thousands of eligible voters from the North-West and North-Eastern part of the country to the South-East and South-South in the next few weeks where they could register as eligible voters ahead of the Presidential election in February next year.
“Many of the 486 people who were arrested and detained had confessed to having been mobilised by political party chiefs to relocate to the South and integrate into the civil populace ahead of the 2015 polls.
“The plan, according to some of those interviewed, is to increase the voting strength of the opposition political party and secure the mandatory 25 per cent of votes cast in those states and thereby enhance its chances of winning the Presidential election.
“When one considers the fact that the constitution requires that for a person to be declared winner in a Presidential election, he must score at least one quarter of votes cast in 24 states in addition to scoring the highest number of votes cast nationwide, it becomes clear that a party which does not score this mandatory percentage in the 11 states of the South-East and South-South will be in a very precarious situation.”
He also said that the investigation team was also said to have gathered that the arrested travelers could be just one tranche of thousands of others who he said might have moved earlier into different states and registered during the continuous voters registration exercise in six states.
“Most of the arrested persons said they had never travelled out of the North and were told that arrangements had been made for their accommodation and feeding for the next six months,” he said.
The source added that an unnamed leader of the group who is from one of the states in the North-West had confessed during interrogation that the logistics for the night journey was provided by an unnamed former member of the National Assembly.
According to our source, “Several funds transfer by politicians into accounts of those arrested are currently being investigated while security agents have been put on alert to mount surveillance on those who had moved into the South much earlier.
“The nation’s law does not recognise migrant voters. Everyone is expected to vote in his or her normal place of residence. This development is worrisome as it portrays the desperation of our politicians.”
But the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, defined the accusation as after thought.
He said those arrested in the first place with fanfare on the allegation that they were members of Boko Haram but were later released quietly, should be apologised to,
Mohammed said government should take its time to read the reports by the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, that Boko Haram was being sponsored or funded by those opposed to the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
He said, “You see, government and those responsible for the arrest of these people should apologise to them in the first place. If this number of Boko Haram could be arrested once or at any at giving time, it would be a major breakthrough.
“When they were arrested, it was with fanfare but they were later released one father the other after they were wrongly labeled. Don’t you think these set of people deserve apology after they were wrongly accused?
“Government should stop shadow-chasing. If they do not have any clue on Boko Haram, they should own up. Let them go and read what Thomas-Greenfield said in the report. Enough of this shadow-chasing.”
Content Credit: Punch