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APC gov candidate economical with the truth over political violence —State PDP chairman

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Hamza Koshe Akuyam, Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bauchi State, speaks at the Government House, on the allegation of violent attacks raised by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Amb Saddique Baba Abubakar, and sundry issues. ISHOLA MICHAEL brings some excerpts:

 

WHAT is your reaction to the allegation by the APC governorship candidate that your party, PDP, is violent?

Yes, I called you here to respond to some allegations; some of them are malicious and unfounded allegations, which I saw the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar was waging on the social media. In fact, he was saying that the two places where he was attacked were my village where one person was killed and Duguri, the hometown of the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir.

 

What is the truth about the allegation?

I found these allegations as very malicious and unfounded. Yes, there was shooting in Akuyam. Yes, one person was killed the day he went there. Yes, there was shooting in Duguri, one person was killed the day he went there. Yes, he forgot to tell us that there was shooting in Toro; there was shooting in Warji; there was shooting in Darazo and even Alkaleri. He did not mention that. And he said that he was elsewhere and there was no shooting. That is what we don’t want in Bauchi State. What is happening now is an alien politics that he is bringing to us. But I am not surprised considering his background. He is not a politician. And very unfortunately, when one person was shot and killed in Akuyam, they stayed in Akuyam, when he said that we were attacking him, that is my village, he went to the Village Head, greeted him, and it was on his way back to the District Head that the incident happened. He even stayed at the palace of the district head for hours. So, if the people of Akuyam were confrontational, will they allow him to stay there for an hour? Therefore, if he doesn’t know what to tell people, what lies to concoct and tell the people of the state, he should be honourable enough to tell the real truth, not to be raking.

 

What steps have you taken to bring an end to the situation you described as alien to Bauchi politics?

We reported this to the Police; the Police took sentiments, nothing was done and that was what encouraged him to go and do it again. When he went to Duguri, he came and displayed two dane guns which he claimed they were able to recover from the people of Duguri. For God’s sake, we went to school as he did, when you recover gun from people, you are supposed to hand it over to the Police for proper investigations. Two days after the incident, he was bringing guns out, telling us that these were the guns that were used to attack him. I want you, journalists, to go and crosscheck whether there are bullets there because wherever it is being emptied, there must be the shells there and the people of Duguri were able to collect the shells of the bullets fired at them. Were they dane-gun shells or those of AK47 guns? Check all these things. What in a nutshell, I want to tell you is that this man is economical with the truth; let him tell us what he is in for: is he here to win the support of the people of Bauchi State and win the governorship or otherwise because, in the social media, there are a lot of things people say that Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar was being attacked everywhere. How can you attack someone who is fully armed?

 

Have you made efforts to establish if he was really attacked in the places mentioned?

Okay, if he was attacked in Duguri, was he attacked in Akuyam or he forgot to bring the dane guns he collected in Akuyam? I think that he will be honourable enough as someone who wants to be the next governor of the state to tell us the truth, and the security agencies should not be accomplices to all his actions. We should not arm politics in the state; fire arm is illegal. Even the Electoral Act and other relevant laws prohibit carrying of arms for campaigns, even though as a Three-Star General, he is not supposed to be going about for political campaigns with armed people. He is just a candidate, but he went round to be telling people lies.

 

What is the position of your PDP in all these issues?

We are here for peace and those of you who followed us for our campaigns will understand that it was not violent. We even forbade our supporters from tearing or defacing any politician’s posters and billboards. Is it somebody who did not want a poster removed that would kill someone or attack somebody with fire arms? I am just telling him, if he can tell us the truth, let him tell us and you should go and ask him. If he collected those dane guns from the people of Duguri, why did it take him two days before displaying them. It is illegal for him to keep them in his house; the legal thing for him to have done was to hand them over to the Police so that they can investigate. He has no right to keep them in his possession nor does he have the authority to investigate. Even if he has authority to hold gun as a retired General, he does not have the authority to hold it anywhere; so he should have handed them over to the police who will do proper investigation.

 

What has your party done about the situation?

The PDP wrote to the Police but unfortunately, I heard him making spurious statements about the PDP and its gubernatorial candidate. Politics is not about that; what politics is all about is to tell people that you want them to elect you based on your good records. What have you done for the people before? He went to Muda Lawal Market after a fire incident and was asking them about fire truck. I heard a few of his supporters, including a former governor, Isa Yuguda, saying that there was no fire service station at the market. He served for eight years, why didn’t he provide it? The market has been there for many years since 1980s, why didn’t he provide it when he had the opportunity to do so? Gentlemen, I want you to, at least, investigate all these issues and bring out the truth. We are not supposed to introduce arms into our local politics; it is bad. Those of us who were there when Isa Yuguda was contesting for the governorship in 2007, we have not forgotten about an alleged attack in his house in Abuja just to get the sympathy of the people. Are we repeating the same thing now. He is saying that we are going to attack here and there, these are all lies, people have seen us operate in the past four years and they know that we are not violent people. We are peace-loving and peaceful people, we are not aggressive and above all, we are not afraid of anybody. This life is only one, nobody will just come and chase us out of our state and we will not allow someone to be attacking our people for no just reason. I want you to investigate and we are calling on the Police, we have already written to them, to give us the reports of what happened in Akuyam, short of doing that, it allowed him to keep repeating the same thing. Somebody should be held accountable and responsible for what is happening, because it is too bad for us, maybe when they say accidental discharge, as they usually say, there must be a victim. I also read in the social media that a vehicle was burnt inside the compound of one Abdulmumini Kundak, a very funny story, if someone is not intelligent, he remains unintelligent forever. They claimed that somebody threw the fire inside the compound from the outside but unfortunately, the vehicle got burnt from the inside. Please, can you relate the two? You see, if they want to create a scenario, so that the election in Bauchi State will be violent so that it will not hold, they are very late, they should get ready and let us go meet at the polls; let our votes count. All the insinuations that we are going to do this and that, it is not in our character and they should know their candidate and they should know who followed him, we all know what Isa Yuguda did in Bauchi State, we knew what happened during his tenure, we knew how he came to power, we knew his antics and now he is in the bandwagon saying that there is no school, no hospitals and so on, I don’t know how a kettle will call pot black. You as members of the fourth Estate of the Realm should dig deeper, tell us what actually happened, who is to be blamed and be prosecuted, we need to know the truth.

 

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