By Mohammed Lere and Mijinyawa Ahmed
The Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda, has stated that the persons who attacked President Goodluck Jonathan’s entourage were sponsored by leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and not by the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.
Mr. Yuguda, who is the leader of the PDP in Bauchi, stated this in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election campaign in Bauchi on Thursday turned violent when the persons converged at the Ibrahim Babangida Square, venue of the event, and hurled shoes, plastic water bottles and other objects at the canopy where the president and members of his campaign team were delivering their speeches.
Although security operatives intervened to stop the thugs from disrupting the event, several vehicles coming out of the venue, belonging to the PDP presidential campaign team, were stoned while tyres were burnt.
The violent youth also clashed with security personnel deployed around Ran road and the Bauchi central market where a police patrol van was set ablaze by irate youth.
The PDP and the APC have accused each other of orchestrating the incident with both condemning it.
However, Mr. Yuguda, who hosted the president at the occasion, blamed PDP leaders from Bauchi, who are opposed to his administration, for the attack.
“The attack was organized by some of our top party chieftains who are from the state and reside in Abuja. They staged this disgraceful action of the youth,” the governor said in Hausa.
Although the governor did not mention the names of the officials, he is believed to have been referring to the party’s national chairman, Adamu Muazu, and the Abuja Minister, Bala Mohammed.
Messrs. Muazu and Mohammed have had running battles with the governor in the past, although all parties claimed it had been resolved.
Mr. Yuguda said the attack was sponsored to embarrass him.
“This attack is an insult to the Emir of Bauchi and myself, the Governor of Bauchi State, just to ridicule us before President Goodluck. Jonathan who visited the state and paid homage to the emir,” he said.
“The President, as the guest of the Emir and people of Bauchi State, deserved to have been treated with respect and dignity, in line with Islamic religious tenets, which the majority of people hold, but the broom-carrying and misdirected youth, in a despicable manner, behaved irresponsibly as the presidential convoy passed by.”
To buttress his claim that PDP leaders and not APC’s sponsored the attack, Mr. Yuguda compared President Jonathan’s visit to Bauchi with his visit to Kano, an APC controlled state.
“Mr President paid similar visit to Kano State which is a stronghold of the opposition and an APC state, but yet the President moved round the city freely, visited Emir of Kano, and nothing of such happened. Why Bauchi State?” he said.
“They want to show the president that I am nobody in the state that I am governing.”