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Jostling in Kaduna APC assumes violent dimension



Jostling in Kaduna APC assume violent dimension

In what appeared to be a direct fallout of the just-concluded contentious local government congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State to elect delegates, a mob on Sunday attacked two Kaduna State senators, Shehu Sani and Suleiman Hunkuyi.

The senators were attacked at the Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, in Kaduna, where they were preparing to address newsmen.

The vehicle that conveyed the senators to the event, as well as properties, including midgets, cameras, tripods for cameras and chairs were destroyed by the mob.

Reports claimed that but for the intervention of the security aides to the senators and some journalists at the event who rushed the lawmakers to safety, the attackers would have pounced on the senators.

Following the controversial congress, Sani, Hunkuyi, and their supporters had protested the outcome on the grounds that it did not follow the laid down procedures.

But the other faction of the party disagreed with them, insisting that the congress was held in accordance with the APC guidelines and was monitored by five national officers of the party who came from Abuja.

Read also : Another Yoruba group backs secession, demands Oduduwa Republic

Some have suggested that the controversial outcome of the congress was tied to the longstanding split within the party between Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State’s supporters and Sani’s supporters, arguing that the national arm of the party which had been accused of being biased in favour of El-Rufai, may have brought its influence to bear on the congress.

There are some suggestions that the mob attack may not be unconnected with the continued rift between Sani and El-Rufai, in what has been described by some as a battle for political supremacy, with their supporters actively involved.

The spat between the two leaders of the state has been in public domain, characterized by accusations and counter-accusations, and even involving the controversial suspension of Shehu Sani at some point, which many clearly saw as the handiwork of the governor.

There have been insinuations that Sani’s rumoured 2019 governorship ambition might be at the root of the disagreements.

Just last week, the Sani-chaired Senate Committee on Foreign Loans had denied approval for a loan request by the Kaduna State Government, in a move that many argued might be part of the political friction.

Meanwhile, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai in a message to the Kaduna State Council of the NUJ, condemned the attack.

In the statement signed by his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, he said “The media must not be hindered from carrying out their constitutional and professional obligations. The government of Kaduna State upholds the principles of free speech and respects the freedom of expression.

“Politics should not be a desperate game. And desperation should not be visited on journalists or any citizen.”

According Aruwan, the government of Kaduna State will not tolerate any attempt to hinder the press and innocent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.

He further revealed that the governor had directed security agencies to investigate and take necessary action against the hoodlums.


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