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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 13:22 GMT
Nigerian opposition 'harassed'
President Obasanjo (file photo)
Obasanjo has yet to say whether he would like to contest polls again
Nigerian state security agents have arrested prominent opposition politician Lawal Kaita at his home.

A spokesman for his party accused the government of harassing opponents of President Olusegun Obasanjo's unstated plans for a third term in office.

The party said that three days ago the police had broken up an opposition rally, tear-gassing its supporters and arresting party activists.

Spokesman Lai Mohammed said Mr Kaita had been driven to the capital, Abuja.

"Lawal Kaita's arrest, coming barely 72 hours after police savagely disrupted the ACD [Advanced Congress of Democrats] rally in Dutse, is further proof of the return of the climate of political repression and muzzling of dissenting voices," ACD spokesman Lai Mohammed told Reuters news agency.

Police told Reuters they had stopped the rally as the organisers had not obtained permission for the event.

Confiscation

Earlier, the police had arrested a printer and confiscated thousands of copies of a booklet opposing plans for a third term.

The ACD was formed earlier this year by politicians who left the governing People's Democratic Party.

ACD members are mostly sympathisers of Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who is believed to have ambitions to succeed President Obasanjo and who opposes moves to allow the president a third term in office once his current term ends in 2007.

A majority of Nigeria's 36 state governors have expressed support for proposed constitutional changes that would allow the president a third term.

The issue has divided the PDP and Nigerian public opinion.


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