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Atiku: I Was Searched and Intimidated at Abuja Airport



Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, returned to Nigeria on Sunday after several weeks in Dubai.

The former vice president confirmed his arrival in a Twitter post in which he accused security agents of attempting to intimidate him at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“I arrived to Abuja this morning to a search by agents of the state, aimed at intimidating me and my staff.

“I am committed to building a Nigeria where no citizen is intimidated by agents of state who are paid to protect them,” the 71-year-old wrote.

Newsmen had earlier reported that operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the early hours of Sunday swopped on Atiku’s private jet on his arrival from Dubai.

Atiku, who landed at ab1 am 1am, was held aboard the plane by the DSS operatives for about 30 minutes, the online newspaper reported.

A source told newsmen: “We do not know what they expected to find.

“But our suspicion is that they expected to find hard currencies on the plane as the opposition All Progressives Congress and supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari have been insinuating that he went to bring in money to prosecute the election.

“He was kept on the aircraft while it was searched.

“But in the end, nothing was found and he was allowed to alight and leave the airport.”

Sources close to Atiku told newsmen that he was not expected in the country until Monday.

Atiku had held ‘strategic meetings’ in Dubai as part of his preparation for the presidential campaign, which is expected to open next week.

The meetings were attending Senate President Bukola Saraki; PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus; Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, and others.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had call for an investigation of the meetings.