A clash at a political rally by political thugs in Bauchi state ahead of the governorship election has left one person dead, with about 15 other people seriously injured and in hospital.
The incident has led to the two major parties in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) trading accusations as to who was to blame for the violence.
The Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council, Bauchi State, Farouk Mustapha alleged that APC thugs on Wednesday attacked its members in Duguri Town, Alkaleri LGA killing one person and injuring 15 others.
Mustapha who briefed journalists at the Press Center of the Government House late Wednesday night said, “Today is one of the saddest days in the political history of Bauchi State, all of the gubernatorial candidates of the various parties signed the peace accord at the State Police Command headquarters with all security agencies as it has been the practice in every election year.
“However, the candidate of the APC, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (rtd) was conspicuously absent, only his Deputy candidate was in attendance showing no respect for peace and harmony to reign in Bauchi state,” he said.
He added that, “To our dismay, while all the candidates were busy signing the peace accord, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar embarked on a last rush campaign tour to Duguri Town, the hometown of Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, the sitting Governor and the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming governorship elections.”
According to him, “Shockingly, the APC gubernatorial candidate moved into Duguri with thousands of political thugs, as well as conventional and noncommercial security outfits who were well armed to the brink.”
He alleged that, “As usual by his antecedents, considering what happened in his last campaign outings in Akuyam, Misau LGA and Toro, Toro LGA where they shot to death 3 people with no any investigation and action to bring the perpetrators to book.”
Farouk Mustapha added that, “The APC gang leaders who led today’s thuggery unleashed terror, intimidation on the people of Duguri Town, they were chanting abusive words and breaking all PDP billboards carrying His Excellency’s pictures, buses, PDP offices and Keke NAPEP were all burnt down by the thugs.
“This barbaric act which was resisted by the good people of Duguri led the thugs and even the security personnel to open fire on unarmed and innocent people of Duguri,” he added.
The PDP Campaign DG further alleged that, “They left several people injured with various degrees of injuries killing one Mal Maiunguwa Shata through a gunshot and also matchetted 15 others who are right now at ATBUTH, Bauchi for treatment.”
He appealed saying, “The Campaign Council is calling upon all our followers across the state who are peace lovers to restrain from embarking on reprisal as the Council is doing everything legally possible to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. Therefore, the Council is calling on the Police, DSS to investigate, and arrest the culprits and bring them to prosecution.
“The Council is also calling on the Military and Police, especially the Ministry of Defence to end the use of their personnel illegally unleashing terror on the people of Bauchi State all in the name of seeking for the exalted office of the Governor of Bauchi State by the APC gubernatorial candidate in the forthcoming election” he concluded.
But in sharp reaction, the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial campaign Council in what it tagged: ‘Thugs open fire on Air Marshal Sadique’s convoy in Gov Bala’s Village’, signed by Director, Media and Publicity, Salisu A Barau dismissed the allegation by the PDP.
According to him, “Suspected hired thugs, using dane guns , opened fire on the convoy of the Bauchi state gubernatorial candidate of APC, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubukar, in Duguri, the birth place of the incumbent Bauchi state Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed.”
He stated that, according to eyewitnesses, sounds of sporadic shootings were heard around the premises where campaign lecture was being held, which made the security operatives at the venue to rush to the scene of the shootings.
He said that, “where, in an attempt to disarm the thugs and retrieve the guns from them, three people were shot: one Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; one from a vigilance group and one from the hunters union.”
Salisu Barau added that, “However, the NSCDC operatives succeeded in recovering two dane guns from the thugs while others escaped with their own guns. The victims who sustained gunshot injuries are currently receiving medical attention at ATBU Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.”
He alleged that, “It will be recalled that the same pattern of attacks, suspected to be sponsored, were carried out on Air Marshal Sadique’s convoy last month in Akuyam, the home village of the state chairman of PDP.”
Bauchi State Police Command PPRO, SP Ahmed Wakili in his reaction stated that, “Today, APC gubernatorial candidate went out on a rally at about 17.45hrs, while in Duguri Village, under Yuli-Yin Ward, Alkaleri Local Government Area, violence ensued during the rally in which 14 people were injured. Among the 14 injured, six were taken to Primary Health Care Center in Duguri, they were treated and discharged.”
He added that among the eight that were treated and discharged, was Suleiman Adamu, Danlami Musa, Kabiru Sani, Rabi, Abdulrasheed Bala and Tanko Wakilin Pawa, all residents of Duguri Village. These are the six that were taken to the Health Care Center in Duguri.
Eight others were seriously injured, they were referred to the General Hospital, Alkaleri. Because of the severity of the injuries, the doctor could only attend to one Mohammed Abdullahi, who is also a resident of that Duguri.
The remaining seven were transferred from the General Hospital Alkaleri to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi for medical treatment.
Among thise that were attacked were Civil Defense Corp Members but their details were not yet made available to newsmen. Furthermore, two Sharon Galaxy buses were damaged.
He said immediately the Command received the distress call, the Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State Command, CP Aminu Alhassan, directed the Area Commander Metro and the DPO Mainamaji and the DPO Alkaleri to commence investigation in earnest.
Asked to react to allegations that two people were killed in the incident, he said: “I have mentioned all that were here, I mentioned six first that were injured and I have mentioned eight that were transferred out of which one is in Duguri. I don’t have knowledge about anyone of them that is dead. All of them were taken to the hospital by the Police and up to this moment that I am giving you this report, none of them had died.
By Yemi Kanji
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