Jagaban Army: PDP Claims Of Parallel Army False, Hallucinatory - APC National Youth Leader Clarifies

The National Youth Leader of the APC, Hon. Dayo Israel, has dismissed as ‘deranged’ and ‘hallucinatory’ claims by the PDP that its unit of vote canvassers dubbed the ‘Jagaban Army’ was a parallel army instituted to foment violence and rival the country’s recognized armed forces.

He said this in a statement released on Monday announcing the rebranding of the unit as ‘Jagaban Movement’. This, the statement said, was out of respect to “national sensibilities” and to lay to rest the “sensational and misleading claims of the opposition party, including its latest irresponsible call to the president to convene the National Security Council over a non-issue.”

Israel said: “It has become apparent that the broken and soon-to-be-defeated PDP has resorted to making deranged, hallucinatory, and misleading claims about the subject of the Jagaban Army in a bid to deflect attention from the unending woes of its candidate who remains haunted by his sordid past of SPVs and other unsavoury actions.”

“In the interest of the public and other well-meaning Nigerians, we wish to re-emphasize that the Jagaban Army, which will now be known as the Jagaban Movement to deny the opposition the attention they desperately seek through deliberate distortions and irresponsible sensationalism, is no more than a unit of ordinary young civilians selected from across all the wards in the country to canvass votes for our party and candidate through peaceful and democratic engagement methods.”

“The names of all the members, including elected youth leaders of our party and other prominent young Nigerians, are available to the public, a fact that exposes the claim of the opposition as nonsensical as no militia or cult with nefarious motives would make public verifiable details of its members, including their location and coverage areas.”

“Members of the public are also urged to note the activities of the movement on Saturday, Jan 21, when they took to the streets in all the states of the country to mark the first edition of our party’s ‘Deliver Your Street’ campaign.”

“Contrary to the hallucination of the opposition, they wore no uniform nor bore arms as neither of that forms part of the unit’s purpose or operations. Instead, they were aided by peaceful and democratic tools such as branded promotional materials and a canvasser’s record booklet with which they documented their progress and collected data for later processing. They peacefully engaged neighbours and residents to promote pro-democracy actions including electoral participation.”

“The evidence of this is publicly available, including excited reactions of engaged voters who were happy to benefit from gestures offered by our canvassers, including respectful political dialogues had over free meals and which was focused on highlighting the gains of our party since its emergence as the ruling party and why Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains the best choice for Nigeria at this time in our quest for national greatness.”

“It was perhaps the success of this event, and the media evidence of real voters in grassroots communities across the country pledging to elect our candidate, that triggered the well-known neurosis of the PDP since its historic defeat in 2015 and caused it to regurgitate already debunked fictitious and hallucinatory claims that our party was responsible for forming a “parallel army.”

“Their overamplification of the fact that the National Youth Leader and his Deputy wore ceremonial attires, an action meant to merely add to the ceremonial significance of the event, is nothing more than a desperate grasp at straws by a party scared witless by its failure to generate any interest in its imploding campaign.”

“The National Youth Leader and his Deputy were the only officials of the party to adorn the ceremonial attire fashioned after civil brigades, bands, and evangelical units of religious institutions simply for ceremonial reasons."

"No other member of the movement did the same, as no uniform was designed nor adopted for its peaceful and democratic functions. In other words, the renamed Jagaban Army, being a civil vote mobilization unit, never fashioned its own uniform as falsely alleged by the opposition.”

“Let it be known that the Jagaban Army, now known as the Jagaban Movement, is an initiative of the Youth Wing of the party comprising over 200,000 youth leaders elected from the national to the polling units. It has gained widespread acceptance by young Nigerians in the country who are volunteering their time and resources to promote its activities and independently produce and distribute items for the same purpose, including caps, food materials, and others.”

“Its activities are fully democratic, peaceful, and lawful. It poses no threat to the peaceful conduct of the election nor the country’s recognized armed forces. On the contrary, it seeks to expand and fortify the country’s democracy, and maintain our forward motion, by increasing youth participation in the coming polls and ensuring Asiwaju’s emergence through the ballot.”

“Instead of fretting over the popularity of the movement and its acceptance by ordinary young Nigerians who are eager to prove themselves as foot soldiers of our candidate based on his credible track record as an enabler of youth empowerment and growth, the PDP is advised to mourn its anticipated defeat quietly given the obvious fact that Nigerians have elected to reject the defective product it continues to hawk around every election cycle.”

“They should refrain from insulting important national bodies such as the National Security Council with frivolous calls for its assembly over mendacious claims of “training camps” and “parallel army” which it failed to provide proof of.”