By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governors and Legislators Campaign Council in Borno state has alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is instigating election violence by sponsoring political thugs to disrupt the upcoming general election, despite the peace agreement previously signed by all political parties in the state.
This wild accusation was revealed in a three-page press release signed by the
Legal Adviser, PDP Governors and Lawmakers Campaign Council, Barrister Kashim Mustapha Haruna, who made himself available to our Maiduguri Correspondent on Sunday.
Just two weeks ago, the New Nigeria People’s Party, the leadership of the NNPP, brought similar accusations against the ruling APC that its billboards and campaign posters were destroyed at strategic locations across the state.
But in a quick reaction to the allegations, Borno APC legal adviser Barrister Baba Shehu Zanna said the PDP in the state is doing everything possible to incite members of the general public as it has become abundantly clear that all the PDP candidates would not win. any elective office in the next general election scheduled to be held in the state’s 27 local government areas.
Lawyer Zanna said it is even unfortunate that the same PDP that sponsored some political thugs to destroy APC political campaign structures, such as APC posters and billboards in the Bama local government area last week, is concocting lies against the ruling party under the leadership of Governor Babagana. Zulum.
The PDP statement reads: “We wish to draw the attention of the general public to the unfortunate actions of bullying and violence that are continuously perpetrated by the APC against the legitimate and peaceful campaigns of the PDP in Borno State.
“On Sunday 12 February 2023, the PDP convoy consisting of the Governor and other party candidates was attacked by APC sponsored thugs in the Gwange I, II and III districts of Maiduguri, injuring many PDP supporters and they destroyed countless numbers. of vehicles in the convoy.
“Similarly, on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, the party’s campaign rally was disrupted and attacked by the same APC-sponsored thugs in the Bolori II district of Maiduguri, as a result of which various party supporters suffered to varying degrees. of injuries and more. More than 10 vehicles were vandalized by the APC thugs.
“The general public may wish to remember the Peace Agreement signed by all political parties, including the APC, under the auspices of the General Abdulsalam Abubakar Peace Committee, in which all parties agreed to wage their campaigns peacefully and not to attack campaigns. from other politicians. parties.
“However, the APC in Borno State have never respected the Agreement, which is clear from their actions when they attacked the convoy of PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar GCON during his visit to Maiduguri on his presidential campaign tour. by the state of Borno. Since then, the APC in Borno have continued to attack PDP supporters and have burned party offices and flags across the state.
“During the campaign tour of the APC senatorial candidate for the central senatorial district of Borno, one Kaka Shehu Lawan, thugs from his convoy attacked and burned PDP offices, flags and other assets in the local governments of Bama and Ngala. Eyewitnesses have confirmed that the attacks were carried out jointly by civilian JTF members on the Kaka Shehu convoy in association with the APC thugs. We have reported these attacks to security agencies in Borno state, but no action has been taken yet.” The lawyer Haruna lamented.
Continuing: “It should be noted that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has prohibited all vigilante organizations, such as the Borno State civilian JTF, from participating in political campaigns and election activities. The civilian JTF in Borno State is still being used by APC candidates like Kaka Shehu Lawan and Borno State Governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum in their campaigns, in complete violation of the IGP directive.
“On Friday 27th January, the PDP campaign rally in Mafa local government was attacked by APC thugs. We reported the incident to the police authorities, but no APC thugs were arrested or prosecuted. All of these incidents occurred within the Borno Central Senate District, where Kaka Shehu Lawan, who has been the civilian JTF coordinator in Borno State, is competing for the Borno Central Senate seat.
“We call on security agencies to arrest all perpetrators of the violent incidents and specifically invite APC Borno central senator candidate Kaka Shehu Lawan for questioning to establish his role in these acts of violence.
“Just yesterday, APC thugs in Professor Babagana Umara Zulum’s convoy burned down one of our offices in the Konduga local government area as they passed through town.
“All incidents of attacks on our supporters and arson against PDP assets by the APC in Borno state have been reported to security agencies and our party and supporters are still awaiting actions to be taken by security agents.
“We wish to specifically state that the Borno State Police Command under the leadership of CP Abdu Umar has failed the PDP as no action has been taken to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, including the attack on the convoy of the Presidential candidate. , Atiku Abubakar.
“We call on Borno State Governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, who is the APC leader in the state, to call his party thugs to order and respect the PGI directive not to use the civil CTF in their political campaigns and in the elections themselves.
“We also wish to draw the attention of AIG Zone 15 Borno State Head Yahaya Abubakar and the new Police Commissioner stationed in Borno State Haruna G. Garba to investigate these crimes and prosecute all perpetrators. guilty.
“We also ask you to ensure that the elections on February 25 and March 11, 2023 are free of violence and bullying as we unfortunately witnessed during the campaigns.
Thank you and continue to be blessed.” The statement ended.
Meanwhile, APC’s legal adviser, lawyer Baba Shehu Zanna, revealed that the accusations leveled against the ruling party by the opposition PDP Gubernatorial and Legislators Campaign Council are baseless, baseless and far from the truth.
“The accusations leveled against our Party by the opposition PDP Governors and Legislators Campaign Council are unfounded, unfounded and far from the truth.
Mr. Haruna’s accusations are just a figment of his own imagination. This is not the first time that the failed PDP has been making such accusations and writing frivolous petitions against our party, but without success, because all the accusations and petitions from him were investigated by the relevant security agencies and found to be false.
“The APC, under the leadership of Governor Babagana Zulum, has zero tolerance for bullying. The PDP is intimidated by the huge crowd that came out to welcome our Presidential Candidate and his running mate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima this past Saturday, February 18, 2023 at the Elkanemi Sports Center and other venues in Maiduguri, which forced them to run made.
“It is even unfortunate that the same PDP that sponsored some political thugs to destroy our political campaign structures, such as APC posters and billboards in Bama local government area last week, is concocting lies against our ruling party under the leadership of Governor Babagana Zulum.
“The APC in Borno therefore demands with immediate effect that security agencies arrest and investigate Mr. Haruna for volunteering with false information capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in the state.
“The Civilian Joint Task Force has nothing to do with any kind of bullying as alleged by Mr. Haruna and his PDP, who have benefited from the fragile peace brought by the CJTF in the nooks and crannies of Borno.