Nigerians have expressed divergent opinions over the erection of broom statues at two strategic locations in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
This comes as the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has disclosed that it would dismantle the statues if it wins the coming presidential election and assumes office on May 29, 2019.
While one of the brooms was erected directly in front of the City Gate, the other is located at Unity Park near Transcorps Hilton, Maitama-Abuja.
Tagged ‘World Largest Broom’, and made of iron rods, BDSUNDAY learnt that the huge brooms, about eight-feet tall – were erected by some volunteers of the All Progressives Congress(APC).
Reports on the social media indicated that the statues were erected at the cost of over N200 million. However, BDSUNDAY is yet to confirm the actual amount.
Coming on the eve of the general elections, Nigerians have expressed outrage at the structures.
Nigerians will go to the polls to elect national and state leaders on February 16 and March 2 respectively.
They wondered why broom, which represents the logo of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) would be erected in the nation’s capital.
In an exclusive interview with BDSUNDAY, constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) said this would not change the outcome of the forthcoming election.
According to him, the last three-and-a-half years of the APC-led administration has been characterised by untold hardships on Nigerians.
He said: “It does not change anything, does it? The hood does not make the monk. Will the largest broom in the world shenanigan suddenly wipe out the three-and-half years of sorrow, tears, pains, pangs and blood? No. Does it suddenly create non-existent capability and capacity on the part of Buhari? No. Has changed the narrative of the cluelessness, corruption, perilous times, heightened insecurity, poverty, hopelessness, despondency of Nigerians? No. Has it brought about good governance, respect for rule of law, obedience to court orders, protection of human rights? No. A mere broom, even if erected to the sky like the tower of Babylon or in modern times, as high as the Burj Khlifa 165 storey building in Dubai, does not change anything at all. It is like a tale told by an idiot, full of sound, signifying nothing as put in William Shakespeare”.
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode likened the erection of the statue in front of the City Gate to witchcraft.
Commenting on his Facebook page, he said: “They have erected a giant broom at Unity Park near Transcorps Hilton in the centre of Abuja and another one directly in front of the city gate. The broom is the symbol of the ruling APC and a symbol of witchcraft. They are invoking dark forces to stay in power but they will fail”.
But in a swift reaction, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Kayode Ajulo, said no law has been violated by erecting the broom.
Ajulo, who is also the National Secretary of Forward with Buhari, said the development is part of strategies for winning the election, wondering what stopped PDP from erecting its umbrella statue in its 16 years in office.
Hr therefore called for the proscription of PDP for not even completing a structure like its national secretariat throughout its reign as ruling party.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent on Saturday, he said: “This is the season for politicking in Nigeria. On the issue of erecting broom statues, I want a situation that Nigeria needs to interrogate who erected them? Are we using public funds to erect the statues? Are they temporary just for the election or they will be there forever? To me, I don’t think Nigerians need to raise any issue about it. The question we should ask is this: why didn’t PDP build its own statue in its 16 years in office? In fact, it shows the inefficiency and underperformance of PDP. They had 16 years but didn’t think of erecting their symbol anywhere. It shows that they lack foresight, thoughtfulness and ideas on how to run government. That is why you can see that their campaigns are so disorganised that they don’t even know what they are doing.
“Every political party has been erecting banners and billboards everywhere. So, if anybody accuses APC of erecting broom statue, the same way we should accuse PDP of erecting billboards everywhere because all are symbols for campaigns.
“Broom is the symbol of APC, so if they chose to erect it for the purpose of that election, no law has been violated. And one needs to question PDP that for 16 years, they can’t even erect their (umbrella) statue anywhere. They can’t even complete their national secretariat, which billions of naira was donated for. I think the party needs to be proscribed”.
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE Abuja