A few days to the conduct of the governorship and state assembly elections, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Gombe State, Usman Nafada, has alleged that the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) plans to use the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) against his party.
Nafada issued the alert in a press statement signed by the Chairman Media and Publicity Committee of the PDP Campaign Council in the state, Dahiru Kera.
According to the statement, the APC, “through the backing of the federal government are planning to use security agencies to intimidate, harass and even arrest our members with the intention of creating fear and putting the PDP at a disadvantaged position during the election”.
The APC has dismissed the allegation.
But Nafada alleged that, “In Gombe State, SARs officials have been arresting our party men and we are privy to an information that plans have been concluded to use the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in addition to what was used before to clamp down on PDP members during this forthcoming elections”.
“As the 2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections gets closer, I want to commend our supporters and the entire people of Gombe State for their resilience and standing by in our efforts to develop our darling State to our desired status and for generation yet unborn.
“It is in the light of this, that I want to draw the attention of our people and all those that mean well for our state of a clandestine move to infiltrate Gombe State with illegal mercenaries with the intention of thwarting the will of the people during the governorship and state assembly elections on Saturday 9th March, 2019.
“It will be recalled that the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, aided by illegally deployed security agents have intimidated, harassed and even arrested some of our strong members just to weaken our support before the Presidential and National Assembly election.
“We are privy to an information that, plans have been concluded to use the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in addition to what was used before to clamp down on PDP members during this forthcoming elections.
“Those who want to use security agencies to rob us of our mandate should have a rethink because our people are fully prepared to exercise their franchise and equally protect their mandate. We’ve noticed same during the last election where APC stalwarts were moving from one local government to another with full armed security men. We are not ready to accept that during the upcoming polls,” he said.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the police in the state, Mary Malum, simply said: “I am not aware of anything like that. But I will confirm and get back to you”.
Meanwhile, the APC spokesperson, Lanre Isa-Onilu, has dismissed Nafada’s allegations.
He also called him “an attention seeker”.
“Anyone can say what they like,” he told newsmen. “I cannot be responding to such ‘plural’ statement like this again. Even Secondus (PDP chairman), I have stopped responding to him anymore. They (PDP) want attention and I cannot be the one that would grant them the attention.”
“The APC did not use security to defeat a serving governor seeking Senate seat (Dakwambo) in a free and fair election. If a serving governor could not make himself a senator in one zone of the state, we do not have to use security to win election in a state like Gombe,” he said.