Pre-Election Violence: Military, Others Begin Raids On Hoodlums’ Hideouts - 9jaflaver

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Pre-Election Violence: Military, Others Begin Raids On Hoodlums’ Hideouts

Pre-Election Violence: Military, Others Begin Raids On Hoodlums’ Hideouts

The military, police and the Department of State Services have begun massive raids on the hideouts of hoodlums as a pre-emptive measure to curb violence during Saturday’s general election.

As part of the crackdown, no fewer than 63 suspected thugs were arrested in Kano on Thursday after hoodlums attacked the New Nigeria Peoples Party supporters.

It was learnt that at least four persons were killed while 10 vehicles were destroyed during the attack which occurred at noon along Naibawa-Zaria Road.

It was learnt that the NNPP supporters were on their way to Kwanar Dangora on the outskirts of the city to receive the party’s presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso when the incident happened.

Kwankwaso was on his way to Kano for the grand finale of his presidential campaign rally.

Our correspondent gathered that the NNPP, the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressive Congress had mobilised their members to drum up support for their presidential and national assembly candidates but their plans were scuttled by the violence.

The Public Relations Officer of the state Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi confirmed the arrest of 63 suspects to The PUNCH.

He said 40 suspected thugs were initially apprehended and handed over to the police but another set of 23 suspects were also arrested in connection with the attack.

“We have arrested about 63 suspected thugs for disrupting public peace, wielding dangerous weapons, burning vehicles and snatching handsets from people. They are going to be investigated before being arraigned in court, “ Abdullahi said.

Meanwhile, the state police command has ordered the immediate suspension of the presidential campaign grand finale planned by the APC, NNPP and the PDP in the state.

The police authorities also summoned the leadership of the three political parties to an emergency meeting on Wednesday evening, where they were cautioned against engaging in acts that could cause a public breach.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mu’azu Mohammed, in a statement, advised the parties to “postpone the planned presidential/national assembly rallies to a later date after the February 25 elections.”

DSS raid
In a related development, the DSS said it recovered dangerous weapons from a property along Airport Road, Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state.

The service in a statement by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, described untrue allegations by a party in the state that it was intimidating its members.

Although the service did not disclose the party, checks by our correspondent revealed that the Kano State chapter of the NNPP had earlier accused the service of intimidating its members and carrying out raids on its campaign offices in the state.

But Afunanya, who said the operation was intelligence-driven, questioned how the weapons got to the property.

The statement partly read, “To achieve the desired environment for the elections, the service engaged in proactive and intelligence-led operations across states.

‘’For instance, on February 22, 2023, the service conducted a legally backed search operation on a property along Airport Road, Nasarawa LGA, Kano State. During the operation, it recovered dangerous weapons including a gun, daggers, swords, and jack-knives from the said building.

‘’Therefore, the accusation that the service intimidated a particular political party in that state is untrue; otherwise, how come those weapons were found there? Are those objects of violence campaign materials?

‘’Whether in Kano or elsewhere, the DSS has provided equal opportunities for all political parties to engage in their lawful activities. We can say this without any form of contradictions or equivocations.”

Reacting to the allegation, the Chief Spokesman for the NNPP Presidential Campaign Council, Ladipo Johnson, said, “Let’s wait for the DSS to identify the party. How can we tell if this is not an attempt to disparage the party on the eve of a very important election? Do you know whether some people deliberately placed the weapons there? It is possible. I haven’t heard anything, but we will find out.’’
They equally razed the house of the APC chairman in the ward. This is getting out of hand. The government should come to our rescue.”

Okigwe LGA has in the past months become a hotbed for criminal activities.

Just on Tuesday, armed men razed down five houses in the Amagu Ihube community in the Okigwe LGA.

The affected houses belonged to the state commissioner for youths and sports, Emeka Okoronkwo, a former Dean of the Law Faculty of the Imo State University, Nnamdi Obiaraeri, a retired Director of State Security Service, Nnaemeka Ngwu and two others.

Some gunmen had last week torched the country homes of the Labour Party House of Assembly candidate for Okigwe LGA, Nnaemeka Obiaraeri and that of the Director-General of the campaign council for the LP House of Representatives candidate for Okigwe North, Okey Unam.

The spokesperson for the police in the state, Henry Okoye, told our correspondent that he had yet to be briefed on the latest incidents.

In Ebonyi, the series of pre-election violence rocking the state took another gruesome turn as armed men killed Monday Idoko, the chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Ohofia Agba Ward, in the Ishielu Local Government Area
Idoko was reportedly shot in the head at his Onueke village in the Ezza South Council of the state at about 11pm on Wednesday.

A family relative who spoke in tears explained that the assailants dragged out the victim who was asleep before shooting him in the head.

“My brother, the story is very traumatic. It was a family member that alerted me that some unknown armed persons came to their house just before midnight, broke in and dragged him out before shooting him in the head,’’ he stated.

But for providence, the PDP candidate Enugu North/South Federal Constituency, Oforchukwu Egbo, might have been killed during an attack on his campaign convoy on Wednesday night at Eke-Otu in Amechi Awkunanaw, Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Although details of the attack were sketchy, it was gathered that the hoodlums killed the driver of a bus in the convoy.

His body, according to reports, was burnt together with the vehicle.

The attack came to light as Enugu residents were mourning the murder of the Labour Party Enugu East Senatorial candidate, Oyibo Chukwu, who was killed on Wednesday night

Chukwu, a former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association was attacked and killed with his supporters in his vehicle by gunmen who operated in a Hilux van at Eke-Out.

However, the Enugu State Commissioner of Police Ahmed Ammani has ordered a manhunt for the killers of the LP candidate.

Reacting in a statement after visiting the scenes of the attacks at Ebony Paint Road and Eke-Otu both in Amechi-Awkunanaw, Enugu South LGA, on Thursday, Ammani condemned the killings, describing it as unacceptable in a democracy.

Police begin manhunt
The police spokesman in the state Daniel Ndukwe, said the CP had also ordered the intensification of discreet investigations and manhunt of the subversive criminal elements.

Ndukwe said a preliminary investigation into the incidents indicated that the armed hoodlums operating in a tricycle attacked a PDP campaign mini-bus at Topland by Ebony Paint Road, Amechi-Awkunanaw Enugu, and used a petrol bomb to set it ablaze, burning to death its driver, simply identified as KC Great.

“In a similar fashion, another set of the same armed assailants operating in a Hilux vehicle attacked and set ablaze the campaign vehicle of the Labour Party, at Eke-Otu Amechi-Awkunanaw, Enugu, burning to death the party’s senatorial candidate for Enugu East Senatorial District, Barr. Oyibo Chukwu and his personal assistant (male) were with him in the vehicle.

“However, the miscreants were repelled by security operatives while attempting to also attack the convoy of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress at Eke, Agbani, Nkanu West LGA,” Ndukwe disclosed

In another tragic incident, a supporter of the LP presidential candidate has shot dead a PDP loyalist, Mr Philemon Usman in Kaduna. A bullet also hit Mrs Anna Joe.

It was gathered that the incident happened during a heated argument about the presidential candidate that should be voted for.

It was learnt that the incident occurred at Gonin Gora, a suburb of Kaduna town in the Chukun Local Government Area of the State on February 2.

Narrating the incident to our correspondent on Thursday, the surviving victim, Mrs Anna Joe, explained that the sad incident occurred at her beer parlour while she was about to close for the day

Source:- Punch Ng

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