Politicians and party stalwarts are pontificating the political atmosphere is already getting charged as elections into the governorship and the state assembly is scheduled Saturday 18 March 2023 across the country.
Bauchi state to be precise Duguri Community the hometown of the serving Governor Bala Mohammmed under People Democratic Party (PDP) had exploded with political clash that brew disaster in the community, Measures need to be taken to stop the rising cases of political violence that is gradually taking over the polity of the state.
Thuggery and intimidation of perceived political opponents is at an all-time high. The state is gradually descending into unenviable lawlessness and anarchy. It’s an unfortunate descent into the Hobbesian state of nature where life is summarily “brutish, nasty and short.
Recently, the Campaign train of All Progressive Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate in the State, Air Marshall were in Duguri Community, violence erupted leaving one death with 15 other persons injured.
The APC Governorship candidate alleged that the dastardly act is alleged to be carried out by thugs loyal to the ruling Party People Democratic Party (PDP). The PDP has since denied the accusation.
A visit to Duguri by Our Correspondent residents of Duguri Town in Alkaleri LGA of Bauchi State have continued to lament over the Violence that erupted in the community.
They alleged that on Wednesday, 8th March, 2023, the suspected political thugs stormed their Community Duguri and unleashed terror on the residents, injuring 15 people while one Maiunguwar Shata was killed.
In their separate interviews they described the attack on them was orchestrated by the thugs in order to silence them for no just reason other than political considering that the governor, Sen Bala Mohammed is from the area.
Mr Abdul’aziz Rilwanu Duguri, a 27 year old who just got married two days before the incident expressed sadness that he had been incapacitated by the attack which left him wounded with a broken arm and skull.
According to him, “I was at a place where we normally sit to discuss current issues and situations around us. I just got married and came out to greet my friends and buy meat. Suddenly, we saw thugs with sticks and other dangerous weapons attacking innocent people inside the market.”
He narrated further that, “They came to kill me because I am the PDP Youth leader here in Duguri. I was lucky to escape with a broken hand and head. We have resolved to take legal action against the APC gubernatorial candidate, Saddique Abubakar and the APC.”
On her part, the Secretary of PDP women in Duguri,Hajiya Zahratu Jibrin who miraculously escaped the attack by the thugs however had her house and a few items in the compound destroyed.
According to her, from what happened, the thugs came to the area with ulterior motives.
She narrated that, “I was not even aware that the APC gubernatorial candidate was coming to our area on that day. I was coming back from the market when I saw people running. I asked what was happening but nobody could tell me, so I headed home only to see thugs carrying sticks and other dangerous weapons going towards our house.”
According to her, “At that point, I ran for my life as they did not see me but they entered the house and destroyed it. I have never seen such dirty politics like this. They came to kill us but we thank Allah that they did not succeed. We are ready to support our leaders on the appropriate steps to take.”
She however assured that the development, though instilled in them, will not stop them from coming out on the election day to cast their votes saying, “With this, we will show them that we are women of courage. We will troop out to vote for our preferred candidate”.
A community leader Alhaji Muhammadu Tanko is the Mai Gundumar Yankari and he was the person delegated by District Head of Duguri, Yaya Adamu Duguri to receive the gubernatorial candidate of the APC and his entourage on the said date.
“I was delegated to receive Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar and his team at the Palace. He came with not less than 50 people into the Palace, after the usual traditional greetings, he requested for water for ablution and offered prayers which were given to them.”
,”After the prayers, they left for the venue of their campaign lecture, the next thing we heard was shouts and thereafter gunshots, we all ran for safety. At the end of it all, one person was killed while several other people were seriously injured.” he said.
The APC Governorship candidate Air Marshal Abubakar while briefing journalists on the alleged attack on his convoy by suspected thugs during his campaign rally in Duguri village, Alkaleri Local Government Area, the hometown of the governor, Bala Mohammed.
Abubakar accused the governor of allegedly inciting thugs against him through his utterances. “If you are listening to me, you are supposed to be in charge of the security but rather than be in charge,
“You are creating insecurity in the state through your attitude, your utterances and the way you are conducting some of your supporters, we are following very closely all the activities of the people who are working for the PDP in the state and I believe that the people of Bauchi State will finally speak on the 18th of March.”
He described the claim by the PDP in the state that his security personnel shot at their supporters as ‘cheap propaganda’ adding that the violence that broke out in Duguri was unfortunate and misrepresented.
“Anybody that says my team will be going out to kill anybody, I think that person must be out of his or her mind.”
“Stating other circumstances where his campaign was allegedly disrupted by the PDP, he said aside from Duguri, his campaign train was also attacked in Akuyam, the hometown of the State PDP Chairman, Alhaji Hamza Akuyam, during another campaign.
He added that the Governor went to my LGA, Giade and he was well received. Nobody intimidated him, nobody insulted him, nobody shot at him nor killed anyone but if you look at all these locations, they are PDP locations, even in the Duguri axis,
“We have been to Kundak, and so many others, what we saw was a jubilant crowd welcoming us, nobody was attacked, why in Duguri? Why in Akuyam, the hometown of the PDP Chairman?” He asked.
“These are questions they need to answer, so I want to say that the APC will not be intimidated, we will look at all situations and I have told all my supporters to exercise maximum restraint and make sure that they did not attack anybody, whether they like it or not.
“By the grace of God, this PDP gubernatorial will be dismantled by the Bauchi people,” the APC candidate said.
There is an urgent need for a stakeholders meeting of all the political parties, religious and traditional leaders as well as representatives of social organizations to come together on a round table, to discuss the way to achieve peace, before, during and after the 18th March Governorship and state assembly elections.
It could be recalled that Bauchi State
Governorship candidates of various political parties signed a peace accord for the election billed to hold Saturday 18 March , 2023
The candidates include Gov. Bala Mohammed of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Haliru Jika of New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), deputy governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Shehu Musa as well as Umar Ahmed of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Ibrahim Makka of Labour Party (LP) attended signing the accord at the State Police Command Headquarters, Bauchi