A pro-democracy group, The Natives, issued a warning on Friday against the intended interruption of the swearing-in ceremony of the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on May 29.
They said that Nigeria is not a ‘Banana Republic’ where such a disruption should happen. This is even as the group said it planned to commence a vigil around the venue of the swearing-in until Tinubu is sworn-in.
The group’s warning was issued a few hours after the police authorities cautioned against disrupting activities during the presidential inauguration at Eagles Square in Abuja.
The Nigeria Police Force spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, revealed that the police received intelligence that made it necessary to advise aggrieved individuals to seek redress through due process and the rule of law.
The military high command and other security agencies have implemented security measures in the Federal Capital Territory by deploying troops to all entry and exit points into Abuja.
Additionally, gun trucks, armoured personnel carriers, and patrol vehicles have been placed along major routes in Abuja, including the Giri-Gwagwalada-Kwali-Abaji axis, the Zuba-Suleja-Madalla axis, the Kubwa-Bwari axis, and the Nyanya-Mararaba-Keffi axis.
At Eagle Square, which is the inauguration venue for Monday, the major entry and exit points leading to the area were blocked, and armed security operatives were seen patrolling the area. During a press conference in front of the Appeal Court on Friday, the Convener of The Natives, Edward Smart, declared that they would strongly oppose any attempts by anti-democratic elements to establish a parallel government or call for an interim government.
He said, “We are here at Appeal Court today to state categorically that we will not allow the idea of parallel government. In fact, the idea should be dead by now and we warn strongly the proponents of this evil to perish the idea because Nigeria is not a Banana Republic where law and order do not exist.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure will never be extended beyond Monday, May 29. He will end it as a hero. We would like to know if any Nigerian, regardless of their status, has such rights to promote anarchy and desecrate the courts, threaten its judges, advocate parallel government or openly promote chaos. We will not allow it, and such will not happen.
“The country belongs to all of us. The resources Asiwaju will superintend belong to all of us. We are not against anybody. But we are against such madness and the attempt to bring out a functional president in the country. We would like to inform these misguided persons that President Muhammadu Buhari is not available for compromise. He has earned the status of a statesman with an international reputation.
“Having said that, I want to inform you that we are going to start a vigil. We are going to hold it on the streets of Abuja until Asiwaju is sworn-in. We are going to stay on today until that baton is given to him and until he is announced the sitting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is democracy and this is a country we must protect.”