Starrys Obazei/November 15, 2022.
Heavy security pervaded all roads to Rawang Pam Township Stadium, the venue of Tuesday’s first rally for the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, in Jos, Plateau State capital.
Soldiers, policemen, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Federal Road Safety Corps, were seen securing major routes leading into the venue.
As early as 9 a.m., the venue had come alive with activities as local disc jockeys and drummers were seen entertaining party supporters who trooped into the stadium wearing colorful ‘aso ebi’ that had the faces of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
An aso Ebi is a uniform attire traditionally worn in Nigeria and some West African cultures as an indicator of cooperation and solidarity during ceremonies and festive periods.
Some members of the local organizing committee were also spotted conducting a last-minute inspection of the decoration of the venue.
The development is coming barely 24 hours after the National Broadcasting Commission slammed an N5m fine on Arise News and Channels Television for publicizing a reportedly “fake” statement credited to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The Director of Media and Publicity for the PCC, Bayo Onanuga, told newsmen that the campaign in Jos would be a festival of the sort being the official kick-off of Tinubu’s first rally.
He also said that the rally would be attended by virtually all members of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), members of the Progressive Governors Forum and the APC women campaign team
Reacting to the heavy presence of security operatives at the venue, Onanuga said “it is normal.”
He said: “The local organizing committee is fully in charge. We are just going there as guests. In all our engagements so far, the committee in each state is always responsible for arrangements including security.
“Don’t forget, the president is coming too because this is the first rally we are having. But you are aware we have been campaigning before now. This is the very festival of the campaign.
“All of us in the PCC directorates are going there in our aso ebi including the women campaign team,” he said.
Onanuga also noted that the rally would be beamed live on major television and radio stations.