The governorship candidate of PDP in Bauchi State, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has decried alleged harassment and arbitrary arrest of his supporters by the police in the state.
He said the alleged arrest was on the orders of the ruling APC administration in the state which was threatening the peace accord signed by governorship candidates including Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar.
Addressing journalists after securing the release of some of his supporters allegedly arrested at a PDP office along Gombe road, Senator Mohammed said it was orchestrated by the ruling APC to intimidate his supporters prior to the elections.
“We know all their antics and we will not condone this. In Bauchi, there is an effort by Governor Mohammed Abubakar, in cahoots with the police, to clampdown on our supporters on trumped up charges. This is just the beginning. But we are law abiding and we have reported the cases to all relevant security agencies including the police and the Department of Security Services (DSS).
“This government has criminalised lawful associations. You can’t outlaw something that is legal and guaranteed by the constitution. Belonging to a political party and supporting a candidate of one’s choice is a right which cannot be curtailed,” he said.
Reacting, the State APC Organising Secretary, Lawan Gyan-Gyan, dismissed the allegation as baseless and a trademark of the PDP candidate. According to him, the police would not arrest any member of the opposition unless they did something wrong.
“The boys might have done something wrong for them to be arrested by the police. The APC or Governor Abubakar don’t control the police. It is their responsibilities to keep law and order.
“Our supporters recently broke his billboards in Alkaleri and they were arrested. That will show you how law abiding the APC is and we will not support any of our members who breaches peace or destroys any property belonging to the opposition,” he said. On his part, the Bauchi State Police Command spokesman, DSP Kamal Datti Abubakar, said anybody arrested by the police might have committed an offence.
“Belonging to an opposition or ruling party does not matter to the police. As long as you break the law, the police have a duty to bring you to justice,” he added.