“I and the family members were woken from sleep by the noises from a swarm of strangers and the clattering sounds as they cocked their guns. It was a scary situation.
Looking from the window, I saw no less than 15 policemen bearing weapons, some in complete uniform and others not fully dressed. It was not in doubt that our Block S.A. 12, in the NNPC Quarters, Area 11, Garki was under a cordon. Two police cars blocked the incoming lane from the gate just by our block, and two others faced it blocking the exit way. A big white van with heavily tinted glasses was parked between blocks 12 and 14, which faced each other.
The armed men did not climb up to my apartment and I did not, for my part open the door to, as it were to hand myself into their hands.
This situation persisted for about an hour until two things happened: the twitter and the Facebook began to render accounts of the siege and the call to Muslim prayers came and passed without my family members leaving for the Mosque.
At this point, the van and three of the police vehicles drove off. The fourth one moved to the pavement by the playground with about five policemen in it. It remained there until some moments before Seven O’ Clock when that one too, drove off.
Since the end of the stand-off, I have been in communication with the Secret Service, the DSS and the Police at the highest levels. Both organizations denied knowledge of this operation at the beginning.
The Police Inspector-General returned after making his investigation to say that policemen were there following an emergency call by a neighbour who came under robbery attack. The telephone number of the distressed neighbour was given to me and his address was given as being Block S.A. 13. The Police account would have been plausible and acceptable to me but for the fact that the point of action, meaning the position of the police cars, the van and the armed men were around and between my own block S.A. 12 and 14 and therefore clearly removed from block 13, which the police report indicated.
The account of the heavily tinted van, that it brought policemen from NNPC to assist the police operation is neither here nor there because both the police and the oil company denied owning a van like that.
For us at the APC presidential campaign, the duty of communication between our party and candidates on the one hand and the voting public on the other is one that is protected by the Constitution. If any armed group of enforcers whether within the police or outside of it as many are suspecting is behind this act of intimidation think they can break our spirit, they are mistaken. We are not going to give up.
Garba Shehu is Director of media and publicity for All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO). [myad]