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Campaigns turn violent in Gombe, Jigawa

By Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna), Mansur Aramide (Gombe) and Dahiru Suleiman (Dutse)
06 October 2022   |   4:03 am
Gombe State Police Command and All Progressives Congress (APC) have accused supporters of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), who trooped out in numbers to receive former Governor Hassan Dankwambo and candidate for Gombe North Senatorial in next year’s general elections on Tuesday, of alleged thuggery.

ACF urges credible 2023 elections
Gombe State Police Command and All Progressives Congress (APC) have accused supporters of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), who trooped out in numbers to receive former Governor Hassan Dankwambo and candidate for Gombe North Senatorial in next year’s general elections on Tuesday, of alleged thuggery.

The Guardian learnt that the reception was hijacked by hoodlums, who wreaked havoc on public properties.

APC alleged: “PDP supporters armed with dangerous weapons, under the guise of receiving the former governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo in company of the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Jibril Barde, from the Gombe Airport, on Tuesday, went haywire, surreptitiously destroying billboards, banners and other government properties in a desperate attempt to create atmosphere of instability in Gombe State.”

Its publicity secretary, Ambassador Moses Kyari, threatened that the state government would no longer fold its arms and watch lives and properties destroyed.

He urged security agencies to probe the incident, as well as apprehend the perpetrators and their sponsors.

ALSO, CP Ishola Babaita, in a statement, regretted the development, stating: “To the dismay of the Command, some political parties flagrantly abused prohibition of certain conduct at political campaigns under Section 92 (1), (2), (3) (4) and (5) of the Electoral Act 2022 which stipulate imprisonment or fine under subsections 7 and 8.

“In this regard, the Command, under my watch, is warning any person or group of persons, who violates provisions of the Act by engaging in thuggery during political campaigns, processions and rallies, will be arrested alongside their sponsors and prosecuted accordingly.”

SIMILARLY, no fewer than four people have been reported injured, with a number of vehicles vandalised when two factions of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) clashed at a rally for the governorship candidate, Alhaji Umar Namadi Danmodi in Dutse, Jigawa State.

Reports indicated that party members under the umbrella of Danmodi Youths Concerned (DYC) had organised the event to drum support for Danmodi, who doubles as the sitting deputy governor in the capital.

Confirming the fracas, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP Lawal Shi’isu Adam, said the force swiftly contained the tension.

Efforts to reach the organisers for comments were futile at press time.

EQUALLY, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political leaders and parties to shun violence and manipulation at next year’s polls, warning that Nigeria could not afford bad leadership.

It reminded the Federal Government of the grave implication of electing a crop of bad leaders that would stifle the nation’s development and undermine its stability.

ACF Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbeh, in his opening address at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the body, yesterday, said: “We are praying to the Almighty God to give us in Nigeria the opportunity to hold free and fair elections, as well as the opportunity to elect people of our choice and the best leadership to solve the problems of Nigeria once and for all.”

He counseled the electoral umpire and candidates on decency, discipline and transparency.

“We want law and order to be preserved during the elections. ACF will not accept thuggery, rigging or indiscipline in any shape or form during the elections,” he cautioned.