By Samuel Alonge
Leading rights group, the Campaign for Democracy (CD) has called on the police authorities to conduct full investigation and apprehend culprits behind the burning of the Gombe State Campaign Office of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, last week.
Already, the PDP in the state has accused the state governor, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya, and his All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of putting the cam office to the torch.
Although the state government had since denied involvement in the midnight fire, loyalists of the PDP candidate, Alhaji Jibrin Barde have sneered at the denial, accusing Go ernor Yahaya of being sorely scared of losing the coming governorship election and is as such, determined to crush all forms of opposition.
But reacting on Wednesday, the Secretary-General of the CD, Pastor Ifeanyi Odili, described the burning of the PDP secretariat in Gombe as cowardly, barbaric, and a great setback to Nigeria’s democratic advancement.
“That is why the police authorities must rise up to the pressing challenge of bringing to book, all those involved in setting fire on the PDP in Gombe.
“It is a sad reminder of a similar experience in Ondo State in 1983 when politicians simply went crazy and started burning opponents homes and human setting human beings like themselves ablaze.
“The police must demonstrate that such orgy of madness shouldn’t have place under this demo cracy when the world know s a global community and all eyes are on Nigeria,” the CD scribe contended.
Odili added that no matter how highly placed the perpetrator of the act may be, the person must be exposed and booked.
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Reacting to the burning of the PDP secretariat, a media aide to Barde, Alhaji Junaidu Usman Abubakar condemned the attack on the building housing the Barde Campaign Organisation at the wee hours of the day by political thugs “suspected to be that of the sinking APC, setting ablaze the building and destroying properties”.
Abubakar, demurred, saying, “The cowardly attack on this edifice, one of many in the last months further affirmed the present government’s stand on violence and destruction, a threat to the fragile peace of the state, which must vehemently be rejected by all and sundry.
“The PDP Governorship candidate, Alhaji Muhammad Jibrin Barde has on different occasions rejected violence and political thuggery, stressing the need to engage the resourceful Gombe youth in a meaningful pursuit.
“The good people of Gombe State are hereby prompted to reject this act of oppression on the ballot comes 2023.
“The Barde agenda rests on securing the lives and properties of the people, equal opportunities for the youth and women, rapid infrastructural development and providing a level-playing ground for the opposition devoid of any undue oppression”.