Twenty-four hours after the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council was attacked by suspected thugs in Maiduguri, Borno State, the opposition party has vowed to report the incident to the National Peace Committee.
The PDP had accused the All Progressives Congress of masterminding the attack, which was denied by the party and the Borno State police command.
Several vehicles were vandalised during the attack on the convoy of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, which the PDP Presidential campaign spokesperson, Senator Dino Melaye, blamed on the ruling party.
Though no loss of life was immediately reported, Melaye claimed that 70 persons were hospitalized and dozens of vehicles vandalized.
However, the Director of Media and Publicity for the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, said the attack could be the result of the in-fighting in the Borno State chapter of the PDP, insisting that the APC had no hand in the violence.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Coordinator of the Atiku-Okowa presidential Campaign Council on Strategic Communications, Dele Momodu said the council would formally report the assault on Atiku’s motorcade to the Abdulsalami Abubakar-led National Peace Committee.
Momodu disclosed that the campaign council was also preparing the evidence that would be presented to the police.
He added, ‘’When we say we are going to make a formal report it is not that it has not been reported. We have a director of security at the Atiku Campaign Organisation. The director, as I speak to you, is compiling evidence of what happened.
‘’When we do that we will also send to the peace committee to know that these people are threatening the peace of fellow Nigerians; that is what we mean by a formal report.
‘’Yesterday (Wednesday), we were attacked in Borno state. We’ve been attacked in Kaduna and it’s so unfortunate because there was a peace accord that was signed by most of the presidential candidates. So, we plan to report formally to the security authorities, we plan to report to the Peace Commission because democracy is not by force, it is a game of choice.’’
Speaking further, the campaign council said, ‘’So, if I choose to support my candidate, there shouldn’t be any problem with that. So firing dane guns, throwing stones and all manner of weapons, for me, is a very unfortunate development.’’
Momodu expressed his party’s concern over the violence on the campaign trail and decried the Borno state police command’s statement denying the attack.
But the Chief spokesman of the APC PCC, Festus Keyamo, mocked the PDP over its proposed plan to petition the Peace Accord Committee.
Keyamo, who accused the opposition party of being confused, warned that no recognized law gave the ad hoc committee any form of power to penalize or disqualify any candidate or party.
He said, “You know the PDP is factionalised in all the states of the federation and at the national level. The show of shame we saw in Maiduguri was the PDP factions fighting themselves. I am sure the whole of Nigeria saw it too on Wednesday.
“Now, they have G-5, G-1, G-3. Sometimes, we even wonder if the PDP spokesmen are speaking on behalf of the G-5 or G-1 or the candidate. We are not sure on whose behalf they speak again.”