January 27, 2023

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Scores injured as APC, PDP supporters’ conflict mars Atiku’s Borno marketing campaign


By Sadiq Abubakar, Maiduguri, Abdulrahman Zakariyau/Paul Okah/Bode Olagoke, Abuja and Mohammed Lawal, Bauchi

Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, got here below pressure Wednesday when some hoodlums attacked the convoy of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP) within the 2023 basic elections, former Vice chairman Atiku Abubakar.

The ugly state of affairs emerged after the PDP flag bearer paid homage to the  Shehu of Borno’s palace, HRH Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai Umar El-Kanemi.

A 49-year-old eye witness, resident in Shehuri ward, Aisami Kolo, gave an account of how the confusion that erupted in a phone interview with Blueprint.

He stated: “Instantly the convoy left the Shehu’s Palace, the scenario was very horrible and ugly because the presidential candidate’s convoy was attacked by armed youths suspected to be political thugs of some APC candidates, together with CJTF, the place greater than 10 autos within the convoy have been destroyed with stones and woods.”

Additionally in one more account,  a 32-year-old lady, Yagana Modu, stated:” I noticed with my bare eyes youths numbering as much as 50 with cutlasses and knives, bearing stern faces loitering across the Dandal street and Premier Cinema facet as much as  the Dandal Police Station.
 
“These armed youths shocked me and created worry and pressure within the space because the youths, whom we suspect to be APC members, launched assaults on the PDP convoy.  The PDP youths additionally retaliated and have become a scene of significant conflict between the PDP and APC youths leading to majority of the youths injured with knives and cutlasses in addition to sticks.

“However I can not say whether or not there was any dying ensuing from the incident or not. Nevertheless, the variety of these injured was excessive on either side. The police personnel have been helpless as their presence in addition to different safety personnel, wouldn’t dither the hoodlums. Some residents, each younger and previous, ran away whereas some others waited to witness the confusion,” stated 19-year-old Zanna Adam.

Atiku fingers at APC
Commenting on the event, the previous vice chairman accused the APC of mobilising hoodlums to assault his convoy.

Atiku, in an announcement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, stated  hoodlums wielding the flag of the APC attacked the convoy of autos conveying dignitaries to Ramat Sq., the venue of the rally.

“It’s slightly unlucky that the APC in Borno State mobilised a few of its members to assault the convoy carrying dignitaries who had earlier paid a courtesy go to on the Shehu of Borno palace to the venue of the rally.

“Whereas it’s effectively understood that such barbaric behaviour is typical of the APC, it have to be famous that, this time round, it’s particularly the final kick of a dying horse.

“The APC, apparently overwhelmed by the massive flip of supporters to greet our presidential candidate, resorted to anti-democratic actions to scare the group away from the rally.

“It’s a related sample to what occurred throughout our rally in Kaduna State and it is very important name the eye of all stakeholders in peaceable elections in Nigeria to the damaging actions being undertaken by the APC to disrupt our rallies, particularly within the North,” Ibe stated.
 
A spokesperson of the PDP presidential marketing campaign, Dino Melaye, had stated 74 individuals have been injured within the assault.

Melaye added that a number of autos have been vandalised by the hoodlums.

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Melaye, who accused the APC of being accountable for the assault, stated the transfer was to cease the opposition occasion’s marketing campaign in Borno State.

He said that the thugs attacked the convoy of the previous VP after leaving the palace of Shehu of Borno with stones, sticks, and machetes.

“They deployed their thugs to assault our convoys with stones, sticks, machetes as we left the Shehu’s Palace to come back to the Ramat Sq., all in an try and cease our rally.

“However we wish to guarantee them that no person can cease us,” the previous senator stated.

Addressing the rally, Atiku stated if elected president within the election subsequent 12 months, he would guarantee  the issue of insecurity is correctly addressed, in addition to bringing actions on the Lake Chad Basin again to life and proceed with the exploration of crude oil within the state.

He stated: “There are three main points which can be necessary to everybody in Borno State. A very powerful is that we should return this state to the true which means of its title because the ‘Residence of Peace’. Due to this fact, my main agenda so far as Borno is worried is to deal decisively with insecurity and return peace to this state and in all places else.

“Secondly, I do know that there was an abandonment of actions across the Lake Chad Basin and this comes with attendant issues of individuals shedding their technique of livelihood. So, I’m going to offer a enough quantity of sources in each safety and infrastructure that can assure the security of lives and property across the Lake Chad Basin.

“Thirdly, given the enormity of safety challenges, the enterprise of crude oil exploration on this state has been placed on maintain. I’ll activate the mandatory equipment that can make sure that crude oil fields in Borno State are explored, which can in flip make this state extra economically viable.”

He thanked the PDP supporters for attending the rally.

Additionally addressing the rally, the occasion’s governorship candidate within the state, Alhaji Mohammed Ali Jajeri, known as on Borno  individuals to vote towards “poverty, hardships and sufferings as effectively financial empowerment.”

He promised to deal with unemployment and lack of entry to farmlands and in the end enhance their socio financial actions amongst others.

APC counters
And in a counter, the Borno state chairman of APC, Hon Ali Bukar Dalori stated, there was no incidence of assault by APC thugs on any convoy within the state as alleged.

Dalori, in a phone interview with one our reporters Wednesday, described Dino Melaye as a liar who by no means owns up and speaks the reality.
“I’m disillusioned by the allegations made by Dino Melaye that some APC thugs attacked Atiku’s convoy whereas in Maiduguri for his or her presidential marketing campaign rally.

“Everyone knows that, since Governor Babagana Zulum took over the mantle of management, he emphatically declared  in  his acceptance speech to ban all political thuggery of any sort, throughout the state. That he has been doing and would proceed to do.

“Our ruling occasion is a legislation abiding political occasion, and that was why we as authorities didn’t deny PDP venue for his or her rally as witnessed in some states.

“All I do know is that there isn’t a PDP in Borno, and if Dino Melaye lacked what to inform the individuals of Borno on the way to solicit for his or her votes, he ought to desist from fabricating lies towards our occasion,” Dalori said.

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Police
In its response, the Borno state Police Command confirmed the assaults on the Atiku’s convoy “round Maidoki (Home Man) the place  some unscrupulous parts  tried to disrupt the motion of the convoy, and a suspect  named Danladi Musa Abbas, 32 years, ran right into a church across the roundabout.”

Addressing journalists in Maiduguri, the command’s spokesman, ASP Sani Shatambaya, stated the suspect was arrested  for trying to disrupt the convoy, and in police custody present process interrogation.

Shatambaya stated the Commissioner of  Police, CP Abdul Umar, warned towards hearsay mongering on the assault, assuring that different suspects alleged to be concerned within the assaults of the convoy could be arrested.

He additionally stated the Police guided the convoy to the Shehu’s palace efficiently and rally venue the place the presidential rally was additionally carried out peacefully with out disruption.

He additionally stated there was no report in any automobile destroyed to date neither was there any report that someone died within the melee.  

 PDP G-5
In the meantime, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state alongside governors of Abia, Benue and Enugu states Wednesday visited their colleague in Bauchi, Bala Mohammed at Ramat Home, Bauchi. 

Talking earlier than the assembly went into closed door, Wike stated members of the G-5 group would help the Bauchi governor to reach his reelection bid in 2023 election.

“We got here to solidarise with our good friend, the governor of Bauchi state. I do know he’s in search of for reelection and what we’re doing is to take a look at our colleagues who’re in want of our help. This go to will afford us the chance to debate with him on space of recommendation.

“His Excellency, Governor Bala, has completed quite a bit in Bauchi and I do know Bauchi individuals will vote for him once more in 2023,” he stated.

Responding, Governor Bala expressed gratitude to the PDP governors for the go to, describing it as an excellent honour. 

“Right now, I’m very comfortable to obtain my buddies, members of G-5 workforce. I’m extremely related with every of them. In politics, you go along with the individuals you share issues in frequent and I need to thank them for taking a look at challenges of my anti-party situation in Bauchi,” Bala stated.
 

NEF tackles Ortom
In a associated improvement, the Northern Elders Discussion board (NEF) Wednesday got here arduous on Governor Ortom over a latest remark attributing killings within the state to actions of Fulani herdsmen. 

In an announcement by NEF’s director, publicity and advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the discussion board demanded that killers of villagers in Benue and different residents in different villages in lots of elements of the North have to be traced and prosecuted, as an alternative of killings being politicised. 

The assertion reads: “Northern Elders Discussion board, like different Nigerians, watched the video through which governor of Benue state, Samuel  Ortom, speaks in a fashion and language completely unbecoming of a frontrunner, at a time when requirements of accountability and decorum must be at their highest ranges. He was apparently addressing residents on latest killing of villagers which he attributes to Fulani herders.

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“Even whereas making allowances for the established patterns of rhetoric’s and apply of Governor Ortom on inter-communal relations, this newest outburst must be condemned in a most emphatic method. It does neither justice to the condemnable killings in Benue state, nor to the standing of the governor of his individuals. The context of a politicised surroundings doesn’t excuse this newest demeaning outing of Governor Ortom. Quite the opposite, it diverts consideration from the most recent tragedy that has befallen residents and households in Benue state.

“Northern Elders Discussion board has persistently condemned  the state of siege and insecurity below which Nigerians have lived in the previous few years. Within the North specifically, rogue Fulani parts have stood out as killers, bandits and kidnappers. 

“The discussion board will proceed to demand that those that are asking for our votes in 2023 will present in clear and particular phrases how they plan to re-secure all Nigerians. They need to additionally display how they intend to deal with damaging profiling and deliberate exploitation of passions eminently demonstrated by Governor Ortom.

“The Discussion board calls for that leaders and politicians de-politicise the scourge of insecurity below which all of us dwell. It additional calls for that killers of villagers in Benue state, and different residents in different villages in lots of elements of the North have to be traced and prosecuted. Governor Ortom ought to dwell as much as his oath and his dedication to his mandate to dwell as a accountable chief of his individuals.

“He ought to keep away from the temptation to play to  gallery which like all Nigerians, is determined for aid and an finish to the killings which pitch them towards one another and leads them in direction of never-ending conflicts.”

 Tinubu’s marketing campaign hits Nasarawa
Amidst all these, the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, solid forward together with his marketing campaign by holding a  strategic engagement with gamers in key sectors of the economic system  Thursday in Lafia, Nasarawa state.

An announcement Wednesday in Abuja by the director, media & publicity, APC PCC, Bayo Onanuga, stated Nasarawa state is a significant mining hub for a lot of stable minerals in Nigeria, therefore the significance of the assembly.

The assertion stated the state had deposits of gold, barite, coal, clay, lead-zinc, sault, gemstone, silica sand, iron ore, granite, tantalite, marble, mica, cassiterite, limestone and aquamarine.

“The APC presidential candidate Monday met with farmers and agro-commodity merchants in Minna the place he shared his motion plan for the transformation of agriculture. 

“On the assembly with the mining group, Tinubu will unfold his plan to make mining a significant plank of Nigeria’s financial diversification agenda as laid-out in his coverage doc tagged ‘Motion Plan for a Higher Nigeria.

“For the reason that launch of the motion plan by President Muhammadu Buhari on 21 October, 2022 on the State Home Banquet Corridor, Asiwaju Tinubu has been pitching his proposals to numerous stakeholders within the nation. 

“He began his direct engagement with the Enterprise Neighborhood in Lagos the place enterprise leaders equivalent to Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Jim Ovia, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Herbert Wigwe and different high chief executives have been in attendance,” the assertion stated.