Samuel Luka, Bauchi
Following a report by Sahara reporters Newspaper alleging that the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress APC in Bauchi and the ruling party in the Nigeria have recruited 1000 militants and political thugs ahead of the 2023 governorship election in the state, the state government has called on the federal government and the security agencies to investigate the matter in order to safe the situation.
The call was contained in press release signed and issued to newsmen in Bauchi on Tuesday by the Special Adviser to Governor Bala Mohammed of the state on media and publicity, Comrade Mukhtar Gidado.
The press release said that the state government was concerned by the recent security breaches in some parts of the state.
In the press release title Bauchi: A worrisome security development and need for urgent FG intervention, the Bauchi state government said that the recent story by the Sahara reporters should be of grave concern to everybody with a keen interest in the development of Bauchi State and the overall health of Nigeria.
The Bauchi state government while quoting the story written by Sahara reporters with the title “EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Chief of Staff Sadique, Ruling APC Recruit ‘1000’ Militants, Political Thugs’ Ahead of Bauchi Governorship Election”, observed that the story quoted a security signal it has assessed and an unnamed colonel, alleging that “Sadique and the APC had recruited over 1000 foot soldiers with arms to destabilise parts of the state perceived as opponent’s stronghold.
The press release said it was not concerned by the lamentations contained in the story, of unnamed APC stalwarts who appeared to have been shortchanged during the primaries of the party as that is their internal affair.
It however, said “against the backdrop of the deteriorating security situation in the country, any responsible Government will be alarmed by this disclosure which, if true, portends a grave danger not only for Bauchi State but also the country at large”.
The Bauchi state government noted with concern, that the sudden escalation in violent crimes characterized by kidnappings, banditry and other vices, in certain parts of the state, seem to fall in place with the allegations contained in the Sahara Reporters story.
The government observed that during the period under review, the following places have witnessed increased security threats and actual breaches: Sabon Gari, Garin Sambo, Digare, Mansur and Shafan Duguri in Alkaleri Local Government. Boto and Tudun Wadan Malima in Tafawa Balewa Local Government. Sabon Garin Na Rabi and Gumau in Toro Local Government. Bura in Ningi Local Government.
It noted that for the past few months, the state government has been stretched to the limits as it battles a well-orchestrated chain of crime and criminality designed to distract it from its developmental goals.
The government alleged that other wicked machinations would be to switch resources to security and antagonize the people against the Government.
“We shudder to imagine that any responsible and patriotic individual or organisation would, willy-nilly, promote violence against its people, more so when, as alleged by Sahara Reporters, the entities involved actually aspire to lead the state. It raises the question: Do they aspire to rule over the dead? Though we have heard allegations of violence and insecurity instigated by people in authority, we cannot imagine anyone shooting his way to power, in a democracy”, the Press release added.
“Perhaps that is the crux of the matter: some people are yet to come to terms with the democratic ethos that are being installed in the country. In particular, such power-hungry persons cannot understand the sustained and painstaking effort at democratization and people-empowerment that have endeared the Bala Mohammed Administration to the vast majority of the Bauchi people”, the press release maintained.
It said such people are shocked that, despite orchestrated campaigns of calumny, Bala Mohammed’s popularity continues to soar as demonstrated by the desertions from other parties to the PDP, with the APC suffering the most biting exodus.
“Despite the eye-opening Sahara Reporters story, the Bala Mohammed administration wishes to assure the good people of Bauchi State that it will remain focused on delivering the dividends of democracy that, for several years before 2019, had eluded the peace-loving people of the state”, the press release assured.
It vowed that the Bauchi state government under Bala Mohammed will not surrender its constitutionally provided responsibility in the area of security, to any individual or group, no matter how privileged or powerful.
“It should not be overstated that, the plan to foist an extra-constitutional and quasi-military organ on the state, for the purpose of electoral advantage, can only lead to a total breakdown of law and order, with dire and unfathomable consequences for our dear country in general and Bauchi State, in particular”, the press release cautioned.
The release however, urged the law-abiding citizens of the state to go about their legitimate duties.