The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has stated that a team is being formed to thoroughly investigate an attack on the convoy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in Borno State.
Baba, speaking at the 57th ministerial briefing on Thursday, explained that the state PRO’s assessment may have been too hasty and inconclusive, necessitating the formation of a team to make a holistic assessment from the various narratives in order to ascertain the true picture and prevent a recurrence.
He claimed that campaigns and rallies are policed and that maximum protection is provided, particularly when timely information about such political events is provided.
The police chief admitted that some aspects of police work had been commercialized in order to generate more revenue via the Police specialized automated services (POSSAB) portal, but that the service had been abused.
He, on the other hand, dismissed the notion that unscrupulous individuals could use the portal to gain police protection.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the attack in Borno State on the convoy of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Scores of Atiku supporters were injured on Wednesday when hoodlums attacked the presidential candidate’s convoy in Maiduguri, the state capital.
The Herald recalls that Atiku’s convoy was attacked just as he was leaving the Palace of the Shehu of Borno for Ramat Square, the site of the presidential rally.
PDP reacts to attack on Atiku
PDP spokesman Debo Ologunagba issued a statement shortly after the attack, urging the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to “arrest this constant incidence of violence being unleashed.”
He accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of masterminding the attack by funding the armed thugs.
“The attack on the PDP Presidential campaign train as it made its way into Maiduguri city amidst thunderous cheers by the people further confirms APC’s frustration, bitter envy and disconcertedness over the overwhelming popularity of the PDP and our Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar in Borno State, the North-East Zone and across the nation; for which the APC has resorted to violence,” the statement read.
“Our Party has information about how agents of certain APC leaders mobilised the thugs with the aim to escalate violence in Maiduguri and prevent the PDP from holding its Presidential Campaign Rally in the State.
“Nigerians witnessed with horror how hundreds of APC’s armed thugs stationed at major roundabouts and intersections in the city of Maiduguri unleashed violence on the PDP Presidential Campaign convoy and innocent citizens going about their lawful activities in a gruesome attack that left over 70 persons gravely injured and hospitalised.
“This attack is consistent with APC’s habitual resort to violence in the face of rejection by the people as also witnessed in the attack on the PDP’s Presidential Campaign Rally in Kaduna State on October 17, 2022.
“APC’s barbaric and anti-social behaviour is contrary to the Peace Accord it signed on September 28, 2022 and constitutes a clear and present danger to democracy, our electoral process and the 2023 general elections.
“It is clear that the APC has since become confused, frenetic and chaotic following the daily mass exodus of its key members into the PDP across the nooks and crannies of the State as witnessed at the PDP Presidential Campaign Rally today in Maiduguri in support of Atiku Abubakar and in clear rejection of the APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.”
The PDP spokesman praised the people of Borno for “resisting the APC thugs and ensuring the success of the PDP’s Presidential Campaign Rally in support of Atiku Abubakar.”
He stated that cowardly attacks will not deter the main opposition party, and that Nigerians are already engaged in the “PDP’s issue-based campaign in the mission to rescue, rebuild, and redirect the nation.”