The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are in accusation and counter-accusation over alleged attack on the campaign convoy of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The spokesman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s Presidential Campaign Team, Dino Melaye alleged that at least 74 persons were hospitalised while several vehicles vandalised as hoodlums attacked the Convoy of the PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in Maiduguri.
Melaye, made the allegation during the party’s campaign rally in Maiduguri, accusing the APC of trying to stop their campaign in the state by deploying thugs to attack them.
He said: “They deployed their thugs to attack our convoys with stones, sticks, matchets as we left the Shehu’s Palace to come to the Ramat Square, all in an attempt to stop our rally.
He lamented that the thugs were deployed in many strategic locations to attack the PDP’s supporters.
He said at the rally that: “But we want to assure them that nobody can stop us.”
Fracas broke out in parts of Maiduguri, as party supporters of the two major parties engaged themselves in free for all. At the Bulumkutu axis more than 10 vehicles were vandalised by suspected APC supporters.
Hundreds of thugs were equally sighted at the Sanda Kyarimi Zoological Park around the Ramat Square Area carrying cutlasses and other dangerous weapons.
It was also alleged that more than 200 vehicles conveying supporters of PDP were prevented from entering into Maiduguri from Biu axis of the state.
Meanwhile, the Borno APC Chairman, Hon. Ali Bukar Dalori debunked the attack on Atiku’s convoy, describing it as a figment of the imagination of Dino Melaye.
Reacting to the alleged attacks on Atiku’s Convoy on Wednesday in Maiduguri, Dalori said, there was no incidence of attack by APC thugs on any convoy of the opposition parties in the state as alleged.
Dalori in a telephone chat with journalists described Dino Meleye as a liar and always not upright with the truth.
He said: “I am disappointed by the allegations made by Dino Meleye that some APC thugs attacked Atiku’s convoy while in Maiduguri for their Presidential Campaign rally.
“We all know that, since Governor Babagana Zulum takes over the mantle of leadership, in his acceptance speech was to Ban all political Thuggery across the state”
He added that: “Our ruling party is a law abiding political party, and that was why we as government did not deny PDP venue for their rally as witnessed in some states.
“All I know is that there is no PDP in Borno, and if Dino Meleye would lack what he will tell the people of Borno on what they intend to canvass for votes, he should desist from fabricating lies against our Party.”
Meanwhile, the police in the state debunked the alleged attack Atiku Abubakar at a rally in Maiduguri on Wednesday.
The Police spokesman, ASP Kamilu Shatambaya, told journalists however that the allegation was baseless and had no truth in it.
He described the report that Abubakar was attacked while addressing a rally in Maiduguri as mischievous.
The spokesman said the PDP allegation was fake, a hoax and an attempt by some unguided people to incite disturbances and disrupt peaceful coexistence of people of the state.
He explained that the rally was conducted successfully under tight and adequate security coverage.
He said: “The candidate was accompanied to the Shehu of Borno’s palace after which he was accompanied to the Ramat Square where he addressed his supporters.
“The Commissioner of Police, Mr Abdu Umar, was also at the venue to ensure that everything went on successfully.
“However, one Danladi Abbas (32) was arrested on Airport Road, Maiduguri, for throwing stones at the motorcade of the presidential candidate.
“Abbas and other hoodlums attempted to disrupt the motorcade, but they were chased and luckily one of them was arrested and taken away for questioning.”
Shatambaya said nobody had reported any case of attack to any police station within Maiduguri and Jere.
“We also went round hospitals to ascertain the claim that more than 74 persons were hospitalised, but no such patient was found,’’ he added.