One person was reportedly killed while about 15 others sustained injuries from gunshots and machetes attacks at a campaign rally of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Sadique Abubakar, at Duguri town on Wednesday.
The PUNCH reports that Duguri, a village in Alkaleri Local Government Area, is the hometown of the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed.
The incident, which happened a few minutes before 6pm, came barely five hours after seven out of nine governorship candidates met at the Bauchi State Police Headquarters and signed a peace accord ahead of the governorship and state Assembly elections.
The candidate of the APC who was absent at the venue of the signing of the peace accord was however represented by his running mate at the event.
Speaking to journalists at a press conference held at the Media Unit, Government House, Bauchi at 11.50 pm on Wednesday, the Director-General, Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council, Farouk Mustapha, accused the APC and its candidate of being responsible for the attack.
He alleged that Abubakar, the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, led thugs belonging to his camp and party to unleash terror on the governor’s kinsmen and also destroyed billboards of the PDP.
Mustapha said, “Today (Wednesday) is one of the saddest days in the political history of Bauchi State. All governorship candidates of various political parties in the state were at the State Police Headquarters with all the security agencies to sign a peace accord as has been the practice in every election season.
However, the candidate of the APC was conspicuously absent with only his deputy in attendance, showing no respect for the peace and harmony to reign in Bauchi State.
“To our dismay, while the candidates were signing the peace accord, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, took a campaign tour to Duguri town, the hometown of His Excellency, Senator Bala Mohammed, who doubles as the sitting governor as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming election.
“His gang leaders who led today’s thuggery, unleashed terror, intimidation on the people of Duguri town. They were chanting abuses and breaking all PDP billboards carrying His Excellency’s pictures, buses and even Keke NAPEP and the office of the PDP were all burnt down.
“This barbaric act was resisted by the people of Duguri led by the thugs and even the armed security men to open fire on the unarmed and innocent people of Duguri. They left several people injured and killed one Mallam Mai Ungwan Shata through a gunshot and also macheted others, about 15 of them, who sustained different degrees of injuries, and they are right now at the Teaching Hospital here in Bauchi.”
However, in reaction to the incident, the Director of Media and Publicity of the APC Campaign Council, Salisu Barau, accused the PDP of hiring thugs who opened fire on the campaign team of the APC governorship candidate.
“Suspected hired thugs, using dane guns, opened fire on the convoy of the Bauchi State governorship candidate of APC, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, in Duguri the birthplace of the incumbent Bauchi state, Sen. Bala Mohammed.
“According to eyewitnesses, sounds of sporadic shootings were heard around the premises where the campaign lecture was being held, which made the security operatives at the venue rush to the scene of the shootings where, in an attempt to disarm the thugs and retrieve the guns from them, three people were shot: one Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; one from a vigilance group and one from the hunters union.
“However, the NSCDC operatives succeeded in recovering two dane guns from the thugs while others escaped with their own guns,” Barau said
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer, Bauchi State Police Command, Ahmed Wakil, who confirmed the incident however, said there was no record of any death pointing out that only 14 people sustained various degrees of injuries.
He said, “Today (Wednesday), APC governorship candidate went out on a rally at about 17.4500hrs, while in Duguri Village, under Yuli-Yin Ward, Alkaleri Local Government Area, violence ensued during the rally in which 14 people were injured. Among the 14 injured, six were taken to Primary Health Center in Duguri, where they were treated and discharged.
“Among the eight that were treated and discharged, was Suleiman Adamu, Danlami Musa, Kabiru Sani, Rabi, Abdulrasheed Bala and Tanko Wakilin Pawa, all residents of Duguri Village.
These are the six that were taken to the Health Center in Duguri.
“Eight others were seriously injured, they were referred to the General Hospital, Alkaleri. Because of the severity of the injuries, the doctor could only attend to one Mohammed Abdullahi, who is also a resident of that Duguri. The remaining seven were transferred from the General Hospital Alkaleri to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi for medical treatment.
“Among those attacked were part of the personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps attached to His Excellency’s entourage. But their details were not yet made available to us. Furthermore, two Sharon Galaxy buses were damaged.”
Wakil, a Superintendent of Police, said that immediately after the Command received the distress call, the state Commissioner of Police, Aminu Alhassan, directed the Area Commander Metro and the Divisional Police Officer, Mainamaji and that of Alkaleri to commence investigation.
Asked to react to allegations that two people were killed in the incident, he said, “I have mentioned all that was here, I mentioned six first that were injured and I have mentioned eight that were transferred out of which one is in Duguri. I don’t have knowledge about any of them that are dead. All of them were taken to the hospital by the police and up to this moment that I am giving you this report, none of them has died.”
He called on members of the public to be calm as the situation was under control. He vowed that the Command would not leave any stone unturned to deal with anybody who wanted to disrupt the peace that the state was presently enjoying.