The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Borno State has blamed thugs loyal to former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff for the attack on the convoy of Governor Kashim Shettima while on a working visit in Maiduguri, the state capital.
According to the State APC Chairman, Ali Bukar Dalori, the thugs allegedly attacked the convoy of Governor Shettima, smashing about 10 vehicles in the process.
Dalori, in a statement made available by the Special Adviser on Media to Governor Shettima, Isa Gusau, said the attack “seemed carefully planned with the apparent endorsement of Sheriff”, adding that the thugs allegedly attacked Shettima about 4:30pm in Maiduguri along Sir Kashim Ibrahim Way, while on a working visit in hospitals in the metropolis with his aides.
The statement reads: “The thugs came out from a campaign office belonging to Sheriff called UTC and soon after the governor’s official vehicle had passed, the thugs went after the vehicles in the convoy, smashing windscreens.
“After he was informed, Shettima ordered his security details to restrain their men from using fire arms or any form of assault in order not to heighten tension in the state and compromise counter-insurgency operations.
“From all indication, these youths were sent by SAS. We know some of them, they are his boys. He created thuggery in Borno State when he was a governor. This administration is creating jobs and building human capacity to discourage thuggery, but SAS wants to take us to the era of thuggery.
“About 4:30pm today, 10 vehicles in the governor’s convoy were smashed by PDP thugs loyal to Sheriff. Governor Shettima quickly stopped his security details from any assault defence and also stopped APC youths from reprisal because he has always worked for peace.
“We live in Maiduguri, we are the people that stand to lose if peace is truncated. SAS lives in Abuja with houses all over the world. So he will not care if Maiduguri goes up in flames. All the violence he is orchestrating is aimed at stopping elections in Borno State, but God will never allow evil to succeed over good.
“We are telling him to call his thugs to order because the Borno State government under the APC will not allow anyone to perpetrate violence in the state after our efforts to fight Boko Haram and restore peace in Maiduguri. We won’t allow him to succeed. We will take every lawful step available to us.
“Whether he likes it or not, his era has passed in Borno State, nothing can change that history insha Allah. We urge the Federal Government to call SAS to order. If he is above the law, the Federal Government should tell us, but we will not be lawless and we will not allow him have his way”.
But the ex-governor in response to the allegation, said it was unfortunate that the APC-led government linked him to the attack.
His spokesman, Mr. Inuwa Bwala, said neither he nor Mr. Sheriff was in Maiduguri when the alleged attack took place and enjoined security agencies to brace up to their responsibilities, stressing that “whatever happened to Shettima is a balance of terror”.
According to Bwala, “What is happening in Borno State is a reaction to balance of terror. I urge the security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities to ensure that the governor and his people are called to order”.
He, however, gave an insight into the probable cause for the attack on Gov. Shettima’s convoy. “We believe those who attacked Governor Shettima were the APC thugs that were denied payment of their contract agreement to destroy and burn down PDP offices in the state during General Mohammed Buhari’s visit on Monday.
“It was on record that during that APC rally where their presidential candidate visited Maiduguri and could not address his supporters, some APC thugs, despite the tight security, were personally led by Governor Shettima’s aides to burn down many PDP campaign offices including that of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff”, he said.