2015: Gombe Political Party Supporters In A Rivalry Clash By Kalshingi H Jedidah

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Just as Nigeria awaits its 2015 general election, political activities in Gombe state have continue to heighten with intense political rivalry between political parties more particularly, between the ruling People’s Democratic Party and the major opposition party the All Progressive Change APC.
Before the lifting of ban on political campaign in November last year the two political parties were engaged in game of defection that seemed to have set a stage for an even more bitter rivalry between the two political parties. This according to some political observers in the state has given an entirely new look to politics in the state having a very strong and dogged opposition party for the first time in the history of the state.
But political activities by the two opposition parties  in recent times have continue to pose great threat to the peaceful coexistence of people in the state, as supporters of the different political parties have been reportedly engage in rivalry clash that usually lead to destruction of properties and terror among party followers.
Recently, the APC gubernatorial candidate Alh. Inuwa Yahaya was reportedly attacked in his resident within Gombe metropolis by some alleged PDP supporters an incident that would have claimed lives if not for the intervention of security operatives patrolling within the area as at that time, he would have died.
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Narrating his ordeal to newsmen, Yahaya said the hoodlums stormed his resident in the evening when he was having a meeting with party stakeholders. According to him, attackers were in possession of dangerous weapons including knives, machetes and guns, but immediately took to their heels when the security operatives arrived the scene.
Also according to him, a number of vehicles that were parked within the premises were smashed by the hoodlums before they were stopped by the security men.
Another ugly incident geared by political rivalry was the recent clash between supporters of the two political parties at Gona community of Akko Local Government of the state. Sources said, the incident took place when the same APC gubernatorial candidate was on his way to Billiri one of the local government in the state to hold a campaign rally where his party supporters allegedly engaged in destruction of billboards, placards, and posters belonging to the PDP.
A reliable source told our reporter that the party supporters were also carrying knives, cutlasses, and sticks. Reports also said, about four vehicles were destroyed and a number of buildings along the road side were burnt down. According to sources, the attack might have been a revenge taken by the APC supporters because of the attack on the party gubernatorial candidate last week.
This incident happened barely four days after the state police command had issued a press release warning all political parties in the state to stay away from engaging the party supporters especially the youth in destructive activities.
 The release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer DSP Fwaje Attajiri also stated that, the police command would not condone any activity by political parties that may pose threat to the security of the state, the people and their properties.
Part of the release reads thus; “the Gombe Police Command has observed with utmost dismay the occasional skirmishes among major political parties in the state where they engage each other in destruction of posters, flags, billboards and some time break vehicles…The command however warns all political party leaders and their followers especially the youth to exercise restrain not to overheat the polity, the act of destruction of properties is criminal, therefore the command will descend heavily on offenders and their sponsors as they will face the wrath of the law.”
It could be recalled that, the APC opposition party leader in the state Alh Mohammad Danjuma Goje the immediate past governor of the state was some time last year summoned by the State Police Command for an urgent security meeting. Goje was reported to have conducted a political rally with other party supporters where a number of youths were reportedly carrying dangerous weapons.

Gombe state had been battling with the issue of youth restiveness particularly the notorious group of youth popularly known as ‘yan kalare’ who have been reportedly linked to political thuggery in the state. The group has been accused of many crimes such as destruction of properties, killings and stealing in the state.

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