There were indications Thursday night that President Goodluck Jonathan may have received some hard knocks from the government of the United States over some of the alleged repressive moves against the opposition ahead of the Ekiti State governorship election on Saturday.
Sources told Street Journal that the US government appeared baffled by the spate of harassment against leaders of the All Progressives Congress whose candidate, Kayode fayemi stands against the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ayo Fayose and that of the Labour Party, Opeyemi Bamidele.
Some governors of the APC had, yesterday, been prevented from attending the mega rally organized to mobilise final support for Fayemi in Ekiti. While Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi was prevented from landing at the Akure airport, his Edo counterpart could not fly out of Benin airport due to what men of the Air Force called “order from above”.
However, Amaechi’s desperation to get to Ekiti and beat the “order from above” barricade was carried further when after the governor allegedly landed in Ibadan airport and travelled to Ekiti, his convoy was stopped by security agents at a village near Ekiti making it impossible for him to attend the rally.
There were also allegations of possible clampdown on APC leaders as from Friday ahead of the election on Saturday.
It was however gathered that the US embassy in Nigeria, conveying the position of the US government, had frowned at what had emerged as open repression of the opposition and what the source called “abuse of federal might”.
A strange twist was however added late Thursday night when a source informed Street Journal that the order to prevent Amaechi from landing at the Akure airport was not given by the President but by one of the ministers from the South West who allegedly instructed military men to order airport officials not to allow Amaechi’s plane to land in Akure.
Desperate to placate the US government, President Jonathan was said to have called the said minister who allegedly dropped Jonathan’s name to harass APC leaders warning him to stop the act.
Jonathan, our source said, was told that with the several security crises in many parts of Nigeria especially the North, it would be suicidal for his government at the centre to prevent the will of the people from prevailing in the Saturday election.