The Gombe State Commissioner of Police Oqua Etim has on Monday confirmed the attack which led to the burning of billboards at the campaign office of the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate, Jibrin Barde.
The office is situated opposite the presidential lodge, Gombe. However, it has become a subject of litigation following its proximity to the government house.
Etim confirmed this in a telephone chat with our correspondent, adding that “we are aware and investigation is ongoing.”
The Commissioner of Police disclosed that it was too early to determine who and how the campaign items used to demarcate the compound was burnt.
“It is too early to ask questions about an incident that happened this night. So, just give me a little time, we are not magicians. Soon, we will conclude investigation and we will determine the cause of the burning,” Etim added.
Earlier, Barde’s campaign organisation in a statement obtained by our correspondent indicted the All Progressives Congress, alleging that the incident was perpetrated by political thugs.
The organisation claimed that its governorship candidate, Barde, had overtime kicked against political violence, stressing that if elected in 2023, he would ensure protection of lives and property.
The statement partly read, “There was an attack on the building of the Barde Campaign Organisation in the early hours of today (Monday) by political thugs, suspected to be that of the APC, setting ablaze the building and destroying properties.
“The cowardly attack on this edifice, one of many in the last months further affirmed the present government’s stand on violence and destruction, a threat to the fragile peace of the state, which must vehemently be rejected by all and sundry.
“The PDP governorship candidate, Muhammad Barde, has on different occasions rejected violence and political thuggery, stressing the need to engage the resourceful Gombe youths in a meaningful pursuit.”
Reacting, the Director-General, Press Affairs, Ismaila Misilli, noted that the government had no hand in the burning of the billboards of the opposition.
Misilli disclosed that the attack may have been carried out by the PDP to get public sympathy following their loss of bigwigs during the inauguration of Governor Muhammadu Yahaya’s campaign.
He said, “What were burnt were billboards, the campaign office was not tampered with. However, it may have been perpetrated by them to draw cheap popularity following the defeat they suffered during the weekend where they lost thousands of their members as well as their chieftains.”