The 63rd birthday celebrations of a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Monday turned awry as his long motorcade suffered attack by armed thugs.
Witnesses told DAILY NIGERIAN that the thugs, who brandished machetes, swords and other local weapons, waylaid the convoy while passing through Madobi Road flyover.
Mr Kwankwaso on Monday commissioned Nafisatu College of Nursing and Midwifery, a private college he established in his hometown, Kwankwaso village to commemorate his 63rd birthday.
But as members of the group were returning back to Kano, witnesses said, they were attacked by unknown thugs at the bridge.
A statement by Sanusi Dawakin-Tofa, spokesman for the PDP governorship candidate in the state, said 15 people were critically injured, while 10 vehicles destroyed.
Mr Dawakin-Tofa alleged that information at their disposal confirmed that hundreds of political thugs were assembled by officials of Kano State Government at the Sharada/Sabon Titin Panshekara underpass bridge at about 1:30pm, with the aim of disrupting the convoy of Mr Kwankwaso.
“Eyewitnesses at the underpass and some of the victims identified the leader of the thugs as Muratala Salisu, a.k.a Gwarmai, former S.A Special Services to the governor, Nazifi Nanaso, Tabo, Ahmadi Babba, Babale Kuffa K/Wambai, Jamilu Goje, Rambo ‘Yanmota Bakin Kasuwa, Dan-Nura Warure, Janwe and Cimutun Dodo.
“Others are Shehullahi, Isa Dani Badawa, Salo Karota, K.B Soja, Ahmadun Boma Yakasai, Ayi Dan-Allah Sharada, Aminu Mai Talakawa, Musa Baba Dorayi, Umaru Sani Koki, Balele ‘Yanmota Kasuwar Kurmi, Babba Akufi, Babawo Koki, Muntaka Niga Darma, Ma’aru Goma Hanga, Bashir-Go, Danbaba Kofar Mata and Isa Kwanti.
“The government sponsored thugs went on rampage, destroying vehicles of notable leaders among which are Air Commodore Zakari Sani, Dr. Danyaro Ali Yakasai, who is a former Commandant General of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) and many others.
“They also snatched two vehicles and a motorcycle, (including a) brown Honda Civic (Wagon) with registration number XA521KUR and dark blue Golf Wagon belonging to Mukhtar Isa of Sharada, Salihu Kabir Faskari and Aminu Lawal Abdullahi of Zangon Dakata respectively,” the statement alleged.
The statement also condemned the attack, saying there is growing incidences of political thuggery and intimidation on the members of opposition.
He said such criminality “orchestrated by Ganduje’s administration has regrettably become a trend to crush and silence the opposition.”
“We wish to go on record that immediately we heard about state government’s plans on the attack, the leadership of Kwankwasiyya got in touch with the security agencies but they did nothing to forestall the incidence,” said the statement.
The statement therefore called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of responsibility take an urgent action to curtail the ugly trend that portrays serious danger to democracy.
Abba Anwar, the spokesman of the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, said he “would get back to us” but did not revert as at the time of filing this report.
The state police command, through its spokesman, Abdullahi Haruna, however denied the attack, saying he contacted the DPO of the Madobi Local Government who confirmed to him that no incident happened there.
Several eye witness accounts and pictorial evidence however showed that the attack actually occurred and scores had sustained injuries.