The campaign launch of a PDP presidential aspirant, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has suffered a hitch, following federal government’s refusal to allow the declaration hold at Eagle Square and Old Parade Ground — two major public event arena in the nation’s capital.
On Monday, a statement by the Kwankwaso Presidential Campaign Committee, signed by a member of the committee, Taiwo Adekanla, said the senator will officially declare his presidential ambition for the 2019 election on Wednesday in Abuja.
The invitation cards shared to party supporters indicated that the event would hold at Eagle Square, Abuja, on August 29, although the date was erroneously postdated to August 29, 2019.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that after preparations were almost concluded the managers of the arena barred them from holding the event.
In a letter signed by Usman Raji, the facility manager of the Abuja International Conference Centre & Eagles Square, the government said the decision was to avoid disruption of “work flow” at the Federal Secretariat.
The three-paragraph letter, dated August 27, 2018, read in part: “We are sorry to inform you that the event can no longer hold on the said date because it is a political event and the 29th of August, 2018 happens to be a work day, as it would disrupt the usual work flow of the Federal Secretariat.
“We apologize for the oversight on our part to note the date in relation to the nature of the event. We regret every inconvenience caused by this.”
Credible sources told DAILY NIGERIAN that although the State Security Service, SSS, had given Mr Kwankwaso nod to launch the campaign, the police were allegedly “uncooperative”.
“It is sad that we are not allowed to hold the event in all facilities owned the government. It is equally sad that we were only notified at the eleventh hour when we concluded plans to hold the event at the Eagles Square,” said a source in the campaign team.
“We were also told that even Old Parade Ground was not available to us. Our only option now is to look for a private ground or event centre to hold the event.”
Although Mr Kwankwaso’s supporters have been trooping into the capital city on Tuesday, it is however not clear whether the event would hold tomorrow.