By Okey Ndiribe, Abuja
Security operatives, yesterday, in Abuja invaded the home of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Deputy National Secretary of the nation’s leading opposition party, the All Peoples Congress, APC.
It was learnt that the security operatives arrived first at the House located at 12 Mambilla Street, off the highbrow Aso Drive at about 7 am when El-Rufai had driven his children to school. They repeated their visit at about 2 pm.
When contacted by phone, El-Rufai , a one time Minister of the Federal Capital Territory under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo confirmed the incident.
It was gathered that during the morning visit by the security operatives, they attempted forcing themselves into the house but later changed their minds.
Gregory Bassa, a security guard at El-Rufai’s House narrated the incident when he spoke to news men who visited the House yesterday.
Said he: “The security operatives were armed and they came in three vehicles. One of the vehicles was farther away along the road, while two of them were parked in front of this house. I even challenged them and told them not to park in front of the house before they identified themselves as security operatives.”
He continued: “When they said they wanted to see Mallam El Rufai, I told them that he wasn’t at home. But they insisted that they wanted to see either his wife, child or any of his relatives. I insisted that nobody was at home”.
He continued: “They asked me how he could be reached in case there is an emergency in the house. I replied that I didn’t know how to contact him because I am a security guard working with a company. I was only posted here for duty by my company. I told them it was only my company that gave me instructions.”
He continued: “ One of them asked me whether I had El Rufai’s phone number and I replied that I didn’t. Another one asked me whether I owned a mobile phone, I replied yes and he asked for the phone. I gave it to him”.
Bassa said that his phone was later returned to him by the security operatives.
Meanwhile, a statment by El-Rufai’s image maker, Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, stated that the former FCT Minister will continue to do his patriotic duty of challenging INEC and the security agencies to guarantee the climate for free and fair elections in Nigeria by desisting from partisanship and the embrace of impunity.
However, the All Progressive Congress, APC, has strongly condemned the harassment of its Deputy National Secretary, describing “as a shameful overkill” the stoming of his residence by armed DSS operatives yesterday without any arrest warrant.’
There were indications that security operatives were still monitoring the house as at yesterday afternoon, as some strange men were noticed observing the activities of journalists who had trooped to the house to confirm the veracity of the information concerning invasion of the El-Rufai’s residence.
It would be recalled that the Department of State Security Service, DSS, had reportedly invited El-Rufai for a chat last Thursday.
Although the reason for the invitation was not known, it was learnt it was in connection with a statement attributed to him that there might be violence if the 2015 general elections were not free and fair.
While speaking at the Transformed to Transform, T2T Nigeria, Conference and Career Fair, a leadership and empowerment initiative for the National Youth Service Corps members in Abuja last Wednesday, the APC Deputy Secretary said, the elections could be marred by riots and other forms of violence that might lead to loss of lives and properties unless the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the security agencies ensured they were free and fair.
It was, however. gathered that El-Rufai, declined the invitation because of a pending suit he filed against the DSS over his detention at a hotel in Awka, Anambra State, during last November’s governorship election in the state.