By Adamu S. Ladan
Recently, I wrote a piece on a commotion in Funtua, Katsina state when a hired crowd protested for being paid less than what they’d been promised at a campaign rally in the town.
This happened when a section of a political party flags off its state wide campaign in the city.
The party according to some of the hirelings transported them from Kano state to form part of the rented crowd and alleged that they were dumped after the rally.
However, the mind boggling question many people asked then was how could such crowds be transported in large numbers via interstate borders without catching the attention of security agencies? This was despite the current security situation the country and the region in particular is going through.
Barely four weeks after that incident hoodlums with dangerous weapons attacked the APC campaign entourage at Danmarke village in Kankara local government area on Wednesday 25th January, 2023. Danmarke is the country home of the PDP gubernatorial candidate in Katsina state, senator Yakubu Lado.
The incident occurred while the APC campaign entourage was visiting the village as part of its scheduled state wide tour.
According to accounts, the entourage was attacked at the village by suspected hired mercenaries.
The hoodlums who were said to be hired from a neighbouring state torched the APC campaign materials including bill boards causing pandemonium within the entourage. Wielding various weapons the hooligans also targeted the APC vehicles including that which the candidate and his deputy were occupying, putting the lives of the entire entourage in danger.
The unprovoked attack prevented the campaign train from exercising its legitimate right in the village.
As law abiding citizens, leadership of the campaign council reacted wisely by avoiding taking the law into its hands. Rather towed the path of peace and detour to next destination leaving security agencies with the responsibility of restoring order.
Every peace loving citizen will be appalled by this development which is capable breaching the hitherto tranquil political atmosphere in the state.
It’s worthy to note that the APC campaign entourage have behaved responsibly since the party embarked on its tour. It is on record that not a single incident of thuggery was recorded from the entourage during the visits which so far covered 350 wards in 33 local government areas in the state.
Contrastingly, this happened while the PDP campaign entourage were allowed unfettered access to nook and crannies when they visited every part of the state including, Charanchi, home town of the APC candidate, Dr.Dikko Umar Radda.
But one wonders why would someone want to promote such uncivilized behaviour at the country home of the PDP candidate, Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke.
This is even as the APC Deputy gubernatorial candidate hails from the same Kankara local government and he did not even once attempted to flexed his muscles against the PDP despite his strength and all other advantages over the opposition.
It should be put on public domain also that the APC campaign council had cause to previously complained to relevant authorities on emerging events with ominous signs indicating attempts from some quarters endangering the lives of its candidate, Dr. Dikko Umar Radda and the campaign entourage.
Recall also Presidential Candidate of Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, narrated how his campaign team was attacked while on campaign visit in Katsina State recently.
The Danmarke incident therefore could be viewed as not a coincidence but further proof confirming the fears being expressed by the APC that certain people are interested in bringing Katsina state to disrepute through the use hoodlums to paint a picture of political instability.
From all intent also these could be persons or group who felt they have lost favour with the electorates.
Such people or group would want resort to negative tendencies in order to scare the winning party by precipitating violence between now and February/March polls.
Untill security agencies unravelled those behind the Danmarke and similar attacks, therefore, APC would continue to hold suspect that such attempt was part of the plots aimed at its candidate’s life, those of his entourage and his sympathisers in general.
It is therefore instructive to restate that these incidents should be obvious pointers to all security agencies, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and all stakeholders that they need to rise to the occasion and become alive to their responsibilities in ensuring that the 2023 elections are conducted in atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
This is because this archaic and inglorious violent political culture which involved engaging hired cross-border mercenaries would have unimaginable consequences in Katsina state and Nigeria at large.
Political parties in the state should borrow a leaf from the APC’s exemplary conduct of peace and tolerance during its campaign tour.
Let us hope that INEC in particular would live up to its words of ensuring that political parties conduct their campaigns ethnically according to laid down rules of the game.
Rather than looking the other way or dismissing such breaches as part of normal politicking, it’s also time for security agencies to act professionally and promptly to nipped in the bud any threat capable of throwing the state into avoidable confusion.
Adamu S. Ladan
Member, Media and Publicity Committee,
APC Campaign Council,