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One killed, another injured during APC guber campaign rally in Bauchi


The injured of the accident

By Akanji Alowolodo, Bauchi

Bauchi State Police Command has confirmed that one person was killed while another was injured as a result of gunshots allegedly fired by security operatives attached to the gubernatorial candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Amb Saddique Baba Abubakar. 

The incident was said to have occurred Monday evening during the electioneering campaigns of gubernatorial candidate held in Akuyam, Misau LGA of the state. 

Though the APC denied carrying out the shooting, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Mohammed Ahmed Wakil, confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with newsmen in Bauchi on Tuesday.

He said: “What happened last Monday around 8:30 pm was that the gubernatorial candidate of the APC Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar was on his way from Dambam to Akuyam for a campaign.”

The PPRO added that,”On reaching Akuyam town his entourage was attacked and his escort opened where two persons, Saleh Garba 35 years old and Yakubu Yunusa 20-year-old all from Akuyam Village were shot and evacuated to Federal Medical Center Azare for treatment.” 

Ahmed Wakil further said that: “Today (Tuesday) we received a confirmation that one of them was dead while receiving treatment.”

He added that the Commissioner of Police Aminu Alhassan ordered for discreet investigation of the incident.

According to him, “I personally noticed that there were some people on trees throwing stones and all those attacks were on us not on any other person in Akuyam that was the first day. We were able to escape out of the town.” 

He said that, “From all the information I gathered, it was confirmed to me that our people were attacked yesterday like they were attacked the day before and they tried to escape from that side.”

Asked who it was that carried out the attack, he said that, “it was the opposition that carried out the attack.” 

When asked to be specific on which “opposition” he was referring to, he simply said: “It was clear that it was the opposition that attacked us because we cannot attack ourselves.” 

Ahmed Barau said that, “You cannot be your own attacker and as far as we are concerned, the opposition party attacked us. There are many opposition parties, there’s the NNPP, the PRP and the PDP. It is now left for you to know who attacked us. Though we were attacked and our cars were damaged, we asked our people not to retaliate.”

He also said that, “We were in Misau, nothing happened, along all the routes leading to Misau, we were at Darazo, we stopped at Sade, came to Hardawa, all those times that we were there, we attacked nobody and nobody attacked us.”

Speaking on the incident, the Media Aide to the gubernatorial candidate said that their convoy was first attacked on Sunday night when they earlier went to Akuyam town to campaign.

He refuted reports that anybody was killed in the incident, saying that: “I didn’t hear that anybody was killed nor did I see anybody being killed. On what happened at Akuyam yesterday (Monday), let me take you back to the day before yesterday, Sunday.” 

He also said that, “When the Air Marshal who was still behind learnt of the incident, he asked everybody to stop and retreat in order to avoid any unwholesome situation. So those who were already in the town, had to pass through it to get to Sade and then to Azare, and it was them that were attacked,”.

Adding, he said: “As a contestant, he had to go back to Akuyam because there is no town in this state that a contestant will be barred from going to campaign in. The General (Sadique Abubakar) is a peace-loving person and had the right to campaign, so he decided to return to the place, but when he went there, the same group of youths set out to attack again. Suddenly, they started attacking people.”

Salisu Barau stressed that, “Despite being a 3-star retired General, who has security because he is entitled to protection, let alone being a Nigerian and a contestant for that matter who is guaranteed by the Constitution to contest election, he made sure that there was peace and tranquility throughout his stay in Akuyam.”

According to reports gathered, the incident created serious tension in the town as some of the residents scampered for safety. 

It was learnt that on Sunday night, Sadique Abubakar and his campaign team were on their way to Akuyam town from Gwaram town to campaign, when he turned back from entering the town because of the tension that was brewing.

Some of the vehicles in his convoy that were already inside the town ahead of the gubernatorial candidate had to pass through. They however, suffered attacks as some of their vehicles were damaged. 

The next day, Monday, Abubakar and his campaign team returned to the area to campaign when another clash led to the injury of an unspecified number of people.

Several gunshots were fired by the security attached to the APC gubernatorial candidate, a retired Chief of Air Staff and a former Ambassador of Nigeria to Chad, to scare away the youths who were armed with knives, sticks, machetes and other dangerous weapons.

The security attached to the Campaign Team comprises of the Department of State Service, the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp, the Nigerian Army and many private security outfits including hunters. However, it was unclear who fired the shots.

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