PDP Drags Zamfara Governor before IGP over Illegal Ban of Campaigns, Harassment and Attack of its Members
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara State has dragged the state governor, Alhaji Bello Mohammed Matawalle before the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba over his illegal ban of political campaigns and the use of state apparatus to attack and harass members of the party.
In a terse open letter to the IGP, the Zamfara PDP requested the Police boss to call the state governor, Mr Bello Mohammed Matawalle to order while describing the prevailing situation in the state as “potentially explosive.”
The PDP told the IGP that the Zamfara State governor “is all out to crush opposition and dissenting views and anyone that he sees as a threat in the quest for the realisation of his second term ambition.” According to them, not even well-meaning patriots who are non-political actors have neither been spared and are among the most affected victims of Matawalle’s war without reason.”
The letter titled, “Open Letter To The IGP On Unlawful Use Of State Apparatus By Zamfara State Government To Attack Our Political Activities And Harass Members Of The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)” was signed by Alhaji Ikra Aliyu Bilbis Director General, Governorship Campaign Council, Peoples’ Democratic Party, Zamfara State. The full text of the open letter reads:
“Sir, it is with a heart full of trepidation and responsibility that the Zamfara State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) brings to your notice a potentially explosive situation in Zamfara State.
“It is obvious that the Zamfara State Governor, Hon. Bello Mohammed Matawalle is all out to crush opposition and dissenting views and anyone that he sees as a threat in the quest for the realization of his second term ambition. Well-meaning patriots who are non-political actors have neither been spared and are among the most affected victims of Matawalle’s war without reason.
“It was public knowledge that the Zamfara State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) planned to receive hundreds of thousands decampees from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to our party on Saturday, 15 October, 2022. It is also an established fact that the same was communicated to relevant security agencies in Zamfara State for necessary action.
“A day to the event, on Friday 14 October 2022, our governorship candidate in the 2023 election, Dr. Dauda Lawal was attacked on his way to Gusau, by thugs sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the State Governor. We have supporting evidence of the attack, including videos of how our vehicles were smashed and burnt by the miscreants.
“On the day of the event, Saturday 15 October, 2022, we set out to peacefully carry out our programmes as stated above, but as people began to gather, the sponsored thugs led by an official of the State Government, Aliyu Alhazai Shinkafi, the former chairman of the Zamfara Anti-thuggery committee and commandant of the Zamfara Road Traffic Agency (ZAROTA) stormed the residence of our governorship candidate which happened to be the venue of our activities and attacked our peaceful procession and subsequently fired live rounds of ammunition thereby causing pandemonium. In the renewed unprovoked attack, our campaign buses were vandalised and looted; while in a similar assault, a police squad known as the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) attacked our campaign office located at Unguwar Dallatu, along Gusau Central Market expressway. We have credible intelligence that the CTU acted on the instruction of their commander.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Matawalle-led government intend to unlawfully use state apparatus to stop our campaign activities across the Zamfara. The hooliganism we were not praying for has returned to the state. The issue is a source of concern, lawlessness, brigandage, and provocation capable of heightening the tension in the state.
“It is deplorable how the Chief Security Officer to the Zamfara State Governor, CSP Ibrahim N. Angbasa has abandoned his primary responsibilities and turned himself into the neutralizer of any threats against the Governor’s second term ambition. This includes arbitrary prosecution of opposition elements on phantom charges, arrest of social critics, and threats to the freedom, safety, and even life of anyone who opposes the return of the Governor. These practices are akin to dictatorship as witnessed under military regimes. However, Matawalle has morphed into a rare breed of a democratic dictator and tyrant fused in one.
“The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara State call on the Inspector General of Police, IGP Alkali Baba to launch an investigation to uncover the remote and immediate causes of such heinous crimes that led to the loss of lives and destruction of properties in connivance with some unprofessional elements of the Nigerian Police Force. This investigation should be carried out in collaboration with other sister security agencies especially the Department of State Service (DSS) and thereafter arrest and prosecute the perpetrators no matter how highly placed they are.
“We can no longer guarantee the safety of our members and supporters in Zamfara state. We have credible information that a killer squad has been activated by the state APC and Matawalle government under the leadership of the State APC Youth Leader Musa Ardo – the team’s major responsibility is to identify key PDP supporters and attack them. Five of our supporters; Lawali Yakubu, Aminu Abubakar, Shu’aibu Mohammed, Abdulmumini Bawa, and Surajo Yahaya were arrested during the recent onslaught by the bad eggs in the police, who are working as stooges to Governor Matawalle.
“The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara State will not fold its arms and allow Governor Matawalle to continue harassing and maiming its members and supporters in their own homes under the disguise of an Executive Order that contradicts the constitution.
“Governor Matawalle’s Executive Order No. 10, 2022 is null and void because it contradicts the Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Act as amended; especially Section 94 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022.
“It is stipulated in the Electoral Act 2022 that Section 93 of the Act prohibits a party, candidate, aspirant or person or group of persons from directly or indirectly threatening any person with the use of force or violence during any political campaign to compel that person or any other person to support or refrain from supporting a political party or candidate. The PDP has been denied the right to campaign in Zamfara State.
“The APC State government has stifled our electioneering activities; denying us campaign venues, targeting our campaign billboards, and marking to demolish our party offices. We believe that these actions of the state government have contravened INEC provisions.
“Zamfara State PDP is alarmed by this wanton act because of the danger it portends. For peace to reign, we request the redeployment of some police officers for becoming politically partisan and a threat to democratic tenets. We have solid evidence that CSO to Zamfara State Governor, CSP Ibrahim N. Angbasa; ADC to the governor, DSP Nura Imam; and CPSO, SP Aliyu Usman are participating fully in the illegal and unjustified assault on our members and supporters across Zamfara State.”