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Saturday, 6 January 2018

Coordinator of the Atiku Care Foundation allegedly arrested by DSS

There are indications that the battle for the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is causing conflict between former vice president Atiku Abubakar and Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe state.

Honourable Ibrahim Bage, the Gombe state coordinator of the Atiku Care Foundation (ACF) was reportedly arrested on Thursday morning allegedly on the orders of Governor Dankwambo.

The Independent reports that Bage was arrested by the officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Gombe, who seized his personal belongings including phones, laptop and camera.

He was reportedly whisked to Government House, Gombe, where he met with the governor who allegedly warned him to desist from sensitising members of the public on Atiku's presidential ambition.

In telephone chat, Bage said: "The governor told me my activities as chairman of ACF in Gombe state is illegal. He said we are disturbing the peace of the state and we are inciting people against him by marketing Atiku Abubakar through distribution of items to the less privileged.

"He asked me: 'Are you not aware that I have presidential ambition in 2019?' I told him I was aware sir but 'I am not in anyway constituting any hindrance to your aspirations'. I also told him 'our organisation is not illegal'. It is a registered organisation, which is philanthropic in nature and I have a copy of the certificate."

According to him, he was warned by the governor to be careful and later freed by the DSS.

ACF's national director, media and publicity, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, in a statement on Friday, January 5, condemned Bage's arrest.

The group also called on the DSS and other security agencies in the country not to allow themselves to be used by politicians for selfish reasons.

The statement read: "Our attention has been drawn to the barbaric, unlawful arrest and detention of the Chairman, ACF, Gombe State by Gov. Dankwambo.

"Gov. Dankwambo's actions are inimical to the tenets of democracy for freedom of association as enshrined in our constitution as a nation.

"We condemn this action in his entirety and called on Nigerians to come out and voice their displeasure over this dictatorial actions of Gov. Dankwambo of Gombe state."
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