After initial go ahead, FCTA bars Kwankwanso from declaring presidential ambition at Eagles Square


Despite making payment and getting approval on Tuesday, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso was yesterday, disallowed by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA)from declaring his 2019 presidential ambition at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

On August 20, Eagle Square was approved for Kwankwaso’s use after he applied for the premises and paid a sum of N2.2 million.

The senator representing Kano central used Rasy International and Properties Limited, a private firm, to make the application.

But on August 27, Integrated Facility Management Services Limited, the firm in charge of Eagle Square, said the event can no longer take place there.

A statement signed by Kwanwaso Campaign Organisation on Tuesday, noted that one Usman Mukhtar Raji, acting on behalf of the Facility Manager, stated that the Eagle Square would not be available for the event.

According to the organisation, the Integrated Facility Management Services Limited refused them access to the building and requested a police permit.

The statement read: “Just 24 hours to the highly publicised presidential declaration of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso due to hold at the Eagle Square on Wednesday, the 29th August, 2018, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has turned down the request earlier approved for some flimsy reasons.

Condemning the refusal to allow them access the building, the organisation stated that “We at the Kwankwaso Campaign Organisation sees the development as a handiwork of the government in power who will not see anything good in growing our fledgling democracy as no level playing field has been created to allow for viable opposition in the country.

“Even at that, earlier Tuesday morning the Abuja International Conference and Eagle Square, managed by the Integrated Facility Management Services Ltd refused us access to inspect the premises demanding us to present a police permit, when actual approval for the use of the Eagle Square has been sought and paid for more than one week to the said declaration.

“The above development will in no way dampen our morale to go ahead with the declaration or chicken-out as it will only embolden us to legally pursue our fundamental right to freedom of movement and association.”

Meanwhile, mammoth crowd witnessed Kwankwaso’s declaration at Chida Hotel, Utako, Abuja.

 While addressing a crowd of supporters, the former Kano State governor said: “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me thank you for coming far and wide to hear my decision to run for the president of Nigeria.

“Today, I declare under PDP to offer a leadership as all is not well in our polity.

“On this day, I offer you a great leadership anchored on our constitution.”

…Saraki, Atiku condemn FG’s action

Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has condemned the refusal to allow Rabiu Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano, use Eagle Square to officially announce his presidential ambition describing the

move as a wrong message about the country’s democracy.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, made this known in a statement yesterday.

Saraki said the development connotes intolerance in the country’s politics.

“The refusal to allow senator Kwankwaso to utilize the Eagle Square for his presidential declaration, despite an earlier approval, sends a wrong message about our democracy, particularly the tolerance level in our politics,” he said.

“That square belongs to all Nigerians because it was built with public funds. We hope this is not what we will be seeing as we approach the 2019 general election.”

Similarly, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, in a tweet on Wednesday, condemned the “last-minute cancellation” of the approval granted to Kwankwaso.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari used the same premises for his presidential declaration in 2014 during a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration “without hindrance”.

Atiku wrote; “The last minute cancellation of an approval granted @RMKwankwaso is unfortunate.

“On October 15, 2014, under the @officialPDPNig led administration, then presidential aspirant; @MBuhari, declared for President at Eagle Square with no hindrance whatsoever. This was a work day.”

Meanwhile, the police have denied sealing off Eagle Square, as alleged by the Coalition of United Political parties (CUPP).

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