Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
Youths suspected to be political thugs, on Tuesday, carried out attacks targeting supporters and officials of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Sokoto State.
The irate youths, according to a source, were said to have caused havoc to the state campaign office of the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and also attacked party supporters at Sokoto Cinema area while state government official vehicles stationed at a residence of a Commissioner nominee were not spared.
An eyewitness said trouble started when the hoodlums, who were on the motorcade of a former governor of the state, sighted the PDP supporters along Sokoto Cinema area, and began the attacks that destroyed affected vehicles.
The fight also escalated to other party of the metropolis as the former governor’s motorcade move on.
The scene, however, caused pandemonium as passersby and residents scampered for safety within the state capital.
PDP chairman in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Malgoma, confirmed the incident while briefing journalists.
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He accused the leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of encouraging thuggery and causing violence in the state.
According to Malgoma, “While the PDP calls on the good, law abiding, peace loving people of Sokoto State to remain calm and maintain order, the party wishes to strongly call on the State Police Command and other security agencies in the state to take urgent steps to mitigate this deliberately created scenario of terror by the APC and its leader.
“We demand that the perpetrators of this dastardly act should be brought to book, however how highly place in order to stem this ugly trend that is being enacted by the APC in Sokoto State.
“While the PDP assure all concerned on our philosophy of violence free politics, our party notes that no group or individual has sole monopoly of violence,” Milgoma explained.
In his reaction, chairman of the state, Hon. Sadiq Achida, denied that his party was sponsoring political thugs to attack opposition parties.
He said the attacks were as a result of internal fights between the old and new members of the PDP the state.
In the words of Achida, “We are aware that there was an attacks and destruction of properties belonging to PDP in the state.
“It was as a result of internal fights between factions of their leaders. There was no connection that our party members were involved,” he noted.
When contacted, the state police command’s spokesperson, DSP Cordelia Nwawe, said the command was looking into the matter while investigations were ongoing.
“All these are allegations and the CP is on top of the matter to ensure the right thing is done as appropriate.
“The command is resolute at ensuring peaceful political process and activities in the state, she said.
Nwawe recalled that the command had reiterated its unflinching commitment to ensuring a level play ground for all parties and political activities while warning political parties and politicians to practically play the game by the rules and within the ambit of the law.