Supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Borno State, vandalised and torched several campaign offices and posters of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Monday, during the party’s presidential campaign rally in Borno.
The APC supporters, who took to the streets of Maiduguri in their thousands, chanted pro- Muhammadu Buhari campaign slogans while carrying an effigy of the PDP.
While soldiers were battling to control the mammoth crowd at the venue of the campaign rally, some of the irate youth were seen bringing down PDP billboards that were mounted close to the venue of the rally.
Hours later, thick smoke was seen some 500 meters way from the venue of the rally as the APC youth stormed a major campaign office of the PDP, popularly known as UTC.
Witnesses at the scene said hundreds of the APC supporters, chanting anti-PDP and anti-President Goodluck Jonathan slogans, stormed the PDP office armed with petrol jars, forced themselves into the premises and set the place ablaze.
All efforts by police officers stationed at the UTC to prevent the youth failed as they were overwhelmed by the mob.
A police officer who spoke to journalists in front of the burnt office said, “We tried everything in our powers as permitted of us during riots to stop them, but the young men came in their hundreds and our men had to retreat because we do not intend to use excess force to stop them. It was really very sad.”
Reacting to the attack in a written statement, Inuwa Bwala, the spokesperson, campaign committee of the Borno
State PDP governorship candidate, Muhammad Imam, said the act was highly condemnable and unprovoked.
“The Muhammed Imam governorship Campaign Organisation condemns the unprovoked attack on PDP supporters and property in Maiduguri by APC hoodlums,” Mr. Bwala said. “We equally condemn the attack on military personnel by hired thugs, ostensibly acting out the script of the Borno State government. We commiserate with the victims of the attack and caution the Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima, who seems to take delight in causing mischief anytime the PDP plans its programmes within the state.
“While we call on all supporters of Muhammad Imam to remain calm and lawful in the face of such unprovoked attacks, we wish to assure our citizens that no act of desperation nor violence can alter the will of God. We remain focused on the mission of rescuing Borno from the clutches of an inept and corrupt leadership.
“We leave it to the security agencies to investigate the Maiduguri mayhem perpetrated in the name of hosting a presidential candidate. One wonders how the same Buhari visited Baylesa in peace but Shettima has turned Borno into a vortex of violence and political nihilism.”