By G9ija

Against the backdrop of recent attacks in rallies of political parties by suspected hoodlums, the most recent of which was the convoy of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar in Borno, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba has disclosed that a team is being set up to thoroughly investigate the matter.

At the 57th ministerial briefing today, IGP Alkali-Baba explained that assessment from the state PRO might have been too hasty and not conclusive, hence the need to establish a team to make holistic assessment from the various narratives to ascertain the true picture and prevent a reoccurrence.

He asserted that campaigns and rallies are being policed and optimal protection given, particularly when prompt information is provided about such political events.

The police boss acknowledged that some aspects of police duties have been commercialized to generate more revenue through the Police specialized automated services (POSSAB) portal but the service has been abused.

He, however, obliterated the idea that unscrupulous persons can use the portal to gain protection from the police.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the attack on the convoy of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar in Borno State.

Scores of Atiku’s supporters were injured on Wednesday when hoodlums attacked the convoy of the presidential hopeful in Maiduguri, the state capital.

Atiku’s convoy was attacked just as he left the Palace of the Shehu of Borno to Ramat Square, the venue of the presidential rally.

Shortly after the attack, PDP spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, issued a statement, calling on 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 orchestrating the attack by sponsoring 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 commended the Borno people for coming out en masse to “resist the APC thugs and ensured the success of the PDP’s Presidential Campaign Rally in support of Atiku Abubakar.”

He said the main opposition party cannot be deterred by cowardly attacks, adding that Nigerians are already connected with the “PDP’s issue-based campaign in the mission to rescue, rebuild and redirect the nation.