Atiku campaign demands Tinubu’s arrest over ‘Jagaban Army’ formation

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The Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation has demanded the arrest of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over the formation of ‘Jagaban Army’, a uniformed squad of supporters of the candidate.

The Herald can report that the National Youth Leader of the APC, Dayo Israel courted controversy on social media after he shared photos of himself wearing a military-styled uniform and described himself as “Chief of Army Staff of Jagaban Army”.

But in a statement on Monday, the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation “described the formation of a uniformed squad by the All Progressives Congress (APC) code-named “Jagaban Army” as a treasonable act” and called for the arrest and questioning of Tinubu.

The campaign organisation said that the notion of Jagaban Army was a ploy to bring hoodlums, thugs and gangsters together under the cover of the APC and turn them into official militia that would be used to unleash mayhem on election day.

However, the APC National Youth Leader described Jagaban Army as a peaceful and democratic organisation of grassroots canvassers for Tinubu/Shettima and the APC.

Atiku/Okowa Campaign Statement

“The Jagaban Army, which is apparently set up to disrupt the 2023 general elections and raid the polling units for votes on behalf of APC Presidential candidate, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is a direct affront to the Nigeria Armed Forces and other security agencies as well as an assault on the sovereignty of our nation.

“It is reprehensible that Tinubu can create a rogue force just for the purposes of undermining the electoral and security arrangements of our nation.

“Our Campaign holds that this nefarious act of the APC Tinubu/Shettima Campaign lend credence to the position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and well-meaning Nigerians that Tinubu as well as his rank and file has set out to make our nation ungovernable and thereafter disrupt the 2023 Presidential election scheduled for February 25, 2023, using his army of ‘Jagabandits’.

“The notion of Jagaban Army is a ploy to bring hoodlums, thugs and gangsters together under the cover of the APC and turned them into official militia that will be used to unleash mayhem on the day of election.

“This reckless anti-democratic plot by the ‘Jagabandits’ must also be condemned by all lovers of democracy in Nigeria and across the world over.

“We call on the security agencies to save the lives of Nigerians and protect our electoral process by immediately going after this dangerous formation, arrest those behind this design and save our nation from electoral violence,” the statement signed by Spokesperson of the campaign, Kola Ologbondiyan read in part.

The campaign organisation advised “Tinubu to note that his Presidential ambition is not a do or die affair and that he should not set the nation ablaze just because Nigerians have rejected him and his party, the APC for their mass failures.

“Nigerians have settled for the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who continues to exhibit maturity, experience and capacity to deliver, and not even the ‘Jagabandits’ of the APC can cow them to submission.”

APC National Youth Leader responds

Meanwhile, National Youth Leader of APC, Dayo Israel, described Jagaban Army as a peaceful and democratic organisation of grassroots canvassers for Tinubu/Shettima and the APC.

In a Twitter thread on Monday, Israel explained that Jagaban Army is a sub-directorate of the recently-inaugurated APC National Youth Wing Campaign Council.

He said its branding as an ‘army’ was informed by the popular regarding of political canvassers as ‘foot soldiers’.

“Nevertheless, it is a peaceful and democratic organisation of young canvassers whose task is to facilitate support and ensure the poll success of the APC in the General Elections, beginning with the victory of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima,” Israel said.

According to him, the branding of a vote mobilisation unit as an ‘army’ is neither an anomaly in democratic politics nor a deviation from democratic norms.

“Naysayers spreading malicious interpretations — including sensational claims of a ‘violent militia’ — are referred to President Barack Obama’s 2008 branding of his local organizers and campaigners as his ‘peacetime army’.

“Just as it would be ridiculous to accuse America’s 44th President of attempting to topple the country’s democracy at the time, similar insinuations about the Jagaban’s Army are to be viewed in the same light.

“That just like Obama’s Army, the Jagaban’s Army is a rebirth of participatory democracy, infused by the energy of millions of Nigerian youths at home and in the diaspora.

“The ceremonial outfit worn by the leadership of the ‘Army’ at its inauguration bears no semblance to that of the armed forces nor does it purport to be representative of it. It’s no different to those adorned by civil & church societies, particularly those tasked with evangelising,” he explained.

 

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1 Comment
  1. mickykarim says

    SCAMPERING AND FISHING FOR NON-SUBSTANCE.

    Where did Tinubu announce and presented an army of any kind? People have and can make whatever claims they chose.

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