The Nigeria police plans to shut down most parts of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on Tuesday for President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration of his intention to seek reelection.
Emmanuel Ojukwu, the public relations officer of the Nigerian police, revealed the plan in a statement released in Abuja today.
Mr. Ojukwu disclosed that all roads around Eagle Square, the venue of the president’s declaration, would be closed down from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow.
The police statement was titled “Diversion of vehicular traffic within and around Central Business District Abuja.” The notice read, “This is to alert the public of a major event taking place at Eagle Square Abuja tomorrow Tuesday, 11th November, 2014.
“Members of the public are advised to use alternative routes, as vehicular traffic will be diverted from most of the roads leading in and out of Eagle Square Central Business District, Abuja between 0500 a.m. and 0800 p.m. of Tuesday, 11th November, 2014.
“The Nigeria Police Force regrets any inconvenience the diversion of vehicular movements within the area may cause members of the public, as this is one of the proactive security measures put in place to avoid break down of law and order in the area and Abuja at large.
Reacting to the closure of large parts of the capital to traffic, an Abuja-based democracy activist noted that three presidential aspirants belonging to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier declared their ambition without the police issuing such a statement or blocking any roads. “Who is going to pay the cost to businesses of this ill-conceived closure of streets?” she wondered, adding, “the Nigerian state delights in inflicting hardship on Nigerians in the name of making life comfortable for those in power.”
The APC aspirants are retired General Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano.
Organizers of Mr. Jonathan’s reelection announcement event held a briefing at Sheraton Hotel in Abuja on Sunday evening. They stated that the president would not wait endlessly for the return of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted mid-April from the town of Chibok, Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents. Senator Aniete Okon, a spokesman for the president’s campaign team, stated that Nigeria must move on.