Kwankwaso: Why presidential aspirant was denied permission to use Eagle Square after paying N2.2m

Why Kwankwaso was denied permission to use Eagle Square

The Federal Government has been criticised for what is perceived to be a political move to frustrate the opposition.

Former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, was controversially denied the use of the Eagle Square in Abuja to declare his intention to contest for president in the 2019 elections a week after he was initially cleared to use the venue.

The decision of Integrated Facility Management Services Limited, the firm responsible for the management of the stadium, has been criticised as a political move by the current government to frustrate the opposition, as Kwankwaso recently dumped the ruling All Progressives' Congress (APC) for the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to realise his presidential ambition.

Kwankwaso was scheduled to make an official declaration of his intention to contest next year on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, but he was denied permission to use the venue just two days before his declaration.

According to documents that have now made their way online, Integrated Facility granted Kwankwaso the permission to use the venue in a letter titled titled "RE APPLICATION FOR THE USE OF EAGLE SQUARE" and dated August 20, 2018, and signed by a certain Usman Mukhtar Raji.

"Further to your letter on the above subject matter, we hereby write to inform you of the management approval for the use of the Eagle Square halls on the 29th August, 2018," the letter read.

 

The approval of the venue for Kwankwaso's planned announcement was issued three days after he made the payment of N2,217,000 on August 17, as requested by the management of Integrated Facility.

 

Just a day after Kwankwaso's campaign organisation publicly disclosed the use of the venue for his declaration to his supporters, they were shocked to learn that they could no longer use the venue.

Why Kwankwaso was denied access to Eagle Square

In another letter signed by Usman Mukhtar Raji, and dated August 27, the management explained that they cancelled the prior approval because the political event would disrupt the usual work flow of the Federal Secretariat.

The letter read, "We are sorry to inform you that the event can no longer hold on the said date because it is a political event and the 29th of August, 2018 happens to be a work day, as it would disrupt the usual work flow of the Federal Secretariat.

"We apologise for the oversight on our part to note the date in relation to the nature of the event. We regret every inconvenience caused by this."

 

The reason for the cancellation has been ridiculed by a lot of Nigerians as similar political events have taken place at the same venue during work days. Most notably, while still only a candidate of then opposition party, President Muhammadu Buhari officially declared his intention to contest the 2015 presidential election at the same venue on October 14, 2014, a work day.

Due to the cancellation of the permission to use the Eagle Square, Kwankwaso moved his declaration rally to Chida Hotel in Utako, Abuja.

He'll join a growing list of aspirants hoping to win the presidential ticket of the PDP and will battle former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, and former governors, Sule Lamido, Attahiru Bafarawa, Jonah Jang as well as a potential rival in current Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

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