About one week after protesters attacked lawmakers and other public officials at a political event in Katsina, another lawmaker has been attacked.
Protesters on Sunday disrupted a political gathering convened by a member of the House of Representatives, Mohammed Gololo (APC-Bauchi), in his ancestral Gololo village of Gamawa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
Mr. Gololo, who is the representative for the Gamawa federal constituency, was pelted with stones at the event organized by the lawmaker to distribute empowerment materials to his supporters.
His vehicle was damaged in the process as security operatives whisked him away, witnesses said.
A witness told PREMIUM TIMES that the windscreen of the car of the federal lawmaker was smashed by the angry youth who reportedly marched from the scene to his house to continue the attack.
Pictures obtained by PREMIUM TIMES show damages to parts of the house. Luckily for Mr. Gololo, he and members of his family were said to have fled the house before the arrival of the mob.
Efforts by our reporter to speak with the lawmaker over the incident was not successful, as repeated calls to his phone lines were diverted.
A member of his family who confirmed the attack on Mr. Gololo’s house, however, denied that it was by a mob.
He attributed the damage to burglary, saying thieves had broken into Mr. Gololo’s old residence.
The assailants reportedly carted away personal belongings of the representative during the attack.
An indigene of Gamawa Local Government Area, who identified himself simply as Salisu, said he was at Gololo village at the time of the incident.
Mr. Salisu accused political opponents of instigating the protesters against the lawmaker, saying Mr. Gololo was saved from being lynched by his military guards.
Various organisations had last year written public petitions accusing Mr. Gololo of abandoning his constituents while living a life of opulence in Abuja.
According to the petition written in both English and Hausa languages, the last time Mr. Gololo was sighted in his constituency was about six months before the attack.
One of the organizations, Muryar Talaka (Voice of the Masses), told PREMIUM TIMES that it joined in writing the petition because its members were in the lawmaker’s campaign team and were worried by his alleged lack of proper representation.
A member of another youth organization involved in the petition, Gamawa Youth Mobilization Forum, also explained what prompted the action.
“All attempts have been made to invite Honourable Mohammed to come to his constituency for a meeting, so that he will understand why people are not happy with him. Unfortunately, he refused, saying the youth should send a delegation to meet him in Kano, Kaduna or Abuja.”
The groups said they were further incensed when Mr. Gololo was named in the allegation of sexual harassment in the United States of America.
The American Embassy in Nigeria had written the House of Representatives last year to allege that three lawmakers on an official assignment in the U.S. sexually harassed a hotel staff or were caught soliciting for prostitutes.
The House, however, absolved the members when the embassy declined to send a representative to the House to substantiate the allegation.
Mr. Gololo’s constituents also accused him of not demonstrating loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Another source told PREMIUM TIMES that the lawmaker had refused to attend a meeting called over the various issues in his hometown, Gololo, until a youth corps member serving in Abuja paid a visit to his office and advised him to learn from other members who always attend to the needs of their constituencies.
Mai Zanen Gololo, the presenter of a popular Hausa radio programme, “Zabi Son Ka”, described the attack as unfortunate.
He confirmed that Mr. Gololo’s residence was ransacked.
“All the property, including television, refrigerator, windows, in fact anything handy, have been taken away.
“Trouble started when it was time to start distribution of sewing machines. Gololo and the security around advised that the items be distributed at the police station. The items were later taken away to Gamawa.
“When the security took the remaining items to Gololo’s house, these youth forced their way into the house, carted away a number of sewing machines and all properties in the house. The situation was so mad that someone tried to remove the main gate of the house, but was chased away by the security.’’
When asked if the lawmaker truly abandoned his constituency, he said it was not true.
“You know, if you don’t distribute money, people will say you are not attending to their needs. Though I may not know when he comes, because when he comes I don’t pay him a visit. But he did some culverts in this town and some other minor projects. He assists also.”
The presenter also said the house vandalised is not the old house as some people were saying.
“It is his new house where he resides whenever he was in town. I went there and saw how it was vandalized like in a war situation.”
In a separate interview, another witness who identified himself as Adamu, said the assailants even removed ceilings and woods from the roof of the house.
He said until the incident, Mr. Gololo was last seen in his hometown during the last Sallah celebration, about seven months ago.
“When I saw the situation go out of control, I had to run away for fear of being arrested, as I had nothing to do with that unfortunate incident.”
A resident confirmed that at least four youth from Gololo have been arrested since the incident and taken to neighbouring Bauchi State.