The Gubernatorial and Legislators Campaign Council of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Borno State has alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC is instigating electoral violence by sponsoring political thugs to disrupt the forthcoming general elections, despite the peace accord earlier signed by all political parties in the state.
This wild allegation was disclosed in a three- page Press statement signed by the Legal Adviser, PDP Gubernatorial and Legislators Campaign Council, Barrister Kashim Mustapha Haruna, which was made available to our Correspondent in Maiduguri on Sunday.
Barely two weeks ago, similar allegations were levelled against the ruling APC by the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP leadership that it’s campaign billboards and posters were destroyed in strategic locations across the state.
But in a swift reaction to the allegations, the Borno APC Legal Adviser, Barrister Baba Shehu Zanna said, PDP in the state is doing everything possible to incite members of the general public, as it has became glaringly clear that all PDP candidates would not win any elective position in the forthcoming general elections slated to take place in all the 27 local government areas of the state.
Barrister Zanna said, it is even unfortunate that the same PDP which sponsored some political thugs to destroy APC political campaign structures, such as APC posters and billboards in Bama local government area last week, is concocting lies against the ruling party under the leadership of governor Babagana Zulum.
The PDP’s statement reads: “We wish to bring to the attention of the general public the unfortunate actions of thuggery and violence that is continuously being perpetrated by the APC against the legitimate and peaceful campaigns of the PDP in Borno State.
“On Sunday, 12th February, 2023, the convoy of the PDP comprising the Gubernatorial and other candidates of the party was attacked by sponsored thugs of the APC in Gwange I, II & III wards of Maiduguri, injured many PDP supporters and vandalized an uncountable number of vehicles in the convoy.
“Equally, on Tuesday, 14th February, 2023, the campaign rally of the party was disrupted and attacked by the same sponsored thugs of the APC in Bolori II ward of Maiduguri, as a result of which several party supporters sustained various degrees of injuries and more than 10 vehicles were vandalized by the APC thugs.
“The general public may wish to recollect the Peace Accord signed by all political parties inclusive of the APC, under the auspices of the General Abdulsalam Abubakar Peace Committee, where all parties agreed to undertake their campaigns peacefully and not to attack the campaigns of other political parties.
“However, the APC in Borno State has never respected the Accord, which is clear from their actions when they attacked the convoy of the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar GCON during his visit to Maiduguri on his Presidential Campaign Tour of Borno State. Since then the APC in Borno has continued to attack PDP supporters and burnt offices and flags of the party across the state.
“During the campaign tour of the APC Senatorial candidate for Borno Central Senatorial District, one Kaka Shehu Lawan, thugs in his convoy attacked and burnt PDP offices, flags and other assets in Bama and Ngala Local Governments. Eye witnesses have confirmed that the attacks were carried out jointly by members of the Civilian JTF in Kaka Shehu’s convoy in association with the APC thugs. We have reported these attacks to the security agencies in Borno State but no action has been taken yet.” Barrister Haruna lamented.
Continuing: “It is worthy of note that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has banned 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 the APC candidates such as Kaka Shehu Lawan and the Governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum in their campaigns, in outright violation of the IGP’s directive.
“On Friday, January 27th the PDP campaign rally in Mafa Local Government was attacked by APC thugs. We reported the incident to the police authorities, but no single APC thug was arrested nor prosecuted. All these incidences occurred within the Borno Central Senatorial District where Kaka Shehu Lawan who has been the coordinator of the Civilian JTF in Borno State is contesting for the Borno Central Senate seat.
“We call on the security agencies to apprehend all perpetrators of the incidences of violence and specifically invite the APC Borno Central Senatorial Candidate, Kaka Shehu Lawan for interrogation in order to establish his role in these acts of violence.
“Only yesterday, the APC thugs in the convoy of Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum burnt one of our offices in Konduga local government area as they were passing through the town.
“All the incidences of attacks on our supporters and arson committed against PDP assets by the APC in Borno State have been brought to the notice of the security agencies and our party and supporters are still awaiting the actions to be taken by the 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 single 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 the Governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum who is the leader of the APC in the State to call his party thugs to order and to respect the directive of the IGP not to use the Civilian CTF in their political campaigns and in the elections proper.
“We also wish to also call the attention of the AIG Zone 15, in charge of Borno State Yahaya Abubakar and the new Commissioner of Police posted to Borno State Haruna G. Garba to investigate these crimes and prosecute all the culprits.
“We also call on them to ensure that the elections of 25th February and 11th March 2023 are free of violence and thuggery as we unfortunately witnessed during the campaigns.
Thank you and remain blessed.” The statement concluded.
Meanwhile, the APC Legal Adviser , Barrister Baba Shehu Zanna disclosed that the allegations levelled against the ruling party by the opposition PDP Gubernatorial and Legislators Campaign Council is baseless, unfounded and far from the truth.
“The allegations levelled against our Party by the opposition PDP Gubernatorial and Legislators Campaign Council is baseless, unfounded and far from the truth.
Mr. Haruna’s allegations is just a figment of his own imagination. This is not the first time the failing PDP has been making such allegations and writing frivolous petitions against our party but to no avail, because all their allegations and petitions were investigated by relevant security agencies, and were found to be false.
“The APC under the leadership of governor Babagana Zulum has zero- tolerance for thuggery. The PDP is intimidated by the humongous crowd that came out to welcome our Presidential Candidate and his running mate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima last Saturday 18th, February, 2023 at the Elkanemi sport Centre and other locations in Maiduguri, which forced them to ran made.
“It is even unfortunate that the same PDP which 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 demand with immediate effect from the security agencies to arrest and investigate Mr. Haruna for volunteering with false information capable of leading to break down of law and order in the state.
“The Civilian Joint Task Force has no hand in any thuggery whatsoever as alleged by Mr. Haruna and his PDP who have benefited from the fragile peace brought by the CJTF across nooks and crannies of Borno.