A senator representing Kwara South Senatorial District, under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rafiu Ibrahim has been arrested by the Nigerian Police Force, a day to the general election in which he is seeking a return to office.
“We invited him for questioning on Thursday, and he was with us for several hours,” Kwara police spokesperson Ajayi Okasanmi.
Mr Ibrahim’s associates said he remained in custody as of Friday morning.
Mr Ibrahim was accused of unleashing a group of armed attackers against Lola Ashiru, his All Progressives Congress (APC) challenger in Kwara South.
Mr Ashiru was reportedly on a campaign stop in Ojoku, Mr Ibrahim’s ancestral hometown, on Tuesday night when supporters of both camps clashed.
Both camps have blamed one another for the deadly incident.
Mr Ibrahim’s supporters accused the police of inviting and detaining only the senator, while leaving Mr Ashiru to continue his campaign ahead of the election on Saturday (tomorrow).
They said his detention could hinder his election strategy, while conferring advantage on his opponent.
The PDP has also reacted to the arrest Senators Rafiu Ibrahim in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbodiyan;
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands the immediate and unconditional release of our Kwara South Senatorial candidate, Senator Rufai Ibrahim and other members of the party framed-up, arrested and detained by the Police in Kwara state.
“The PDP holds that the continued detention of Senator Ibrahim on the eve of a crucial election, in which he is a lead contender, is completely provocative.
“The party also cautions the police to stop harassing, arresting and detaining its members on flimsy charges, as such will directly pitch security agents against the people in a manner that might spark off violent resistance with regrettable consequences.
“This resort to police brutality by the APC is a script by a losing team which seeks to introduce violence and use the police to execute their rigging plots.
“Nigerians will recall our vehement protest against the deployment of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s lackey, CP Kayode Egbetokun, as Kwara state Commissioner of Police, wherein we alerted of plots by the APC to use him to incite the people, cause pandemonium and pave the way for outright rigging in favour of President Buhari and all other candidates on the platform of APC.
However, PDP, in clear terms cautions the APC and their compromised security agents that nobody has the monopoly of show of strength. Our members in Kwara or any other state, for that matter, are law-abiding but will never allow themselves to be subjugated by anybody, particularly in this critical electoral process.
“In this regard, our members should immediately activate their individual and collective defence mechanisms by using every legitimate means available, to resist the aggression of the APC and their compromised security agents as well as dismantle their rigging machineries.
“We know that the plan of the APC is to stop our members from accessing their polling centres. Our members should deploy all legitimate means, including lawful self-preservation strategies and tactical manoeuvres to beat the aggressions, arrive at their respective polling centres and exercise their voting rights accordingly.
“The PDP, therefore, calls on the Inspector General of Police to immediately call CP Kayode Egbetokun to order. We also call on lovers of democracy all over the world to rise in condemnation of this wicked harassment and arrest of our members ahead of a crucial election.”