The Police in Jigawa State have disrupted the flag off of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s rally in Gumel Local Government Area of the state.
They were said to have fired tear gas at the party’s supporters to prevent the rally from holding.
The Deputy Chairman of the Party, Babandi Ibrahim, confirmed this to journalists on Wednesday.
According to him, the Police barricaded the area, preventing them from carrying out their activities, despite the party acquiring permission from them as well the Department of State Services (DSS).
“We wrote the Jigawa State Police command that we were going to have the zonal rally today in Gumel, they gave us their consent that they are aware and just this morning, the State Commissioner of Police called the Chairman of our campaign committee telling him that there is a likelihood that hoodlums will infiltrate our gathering, which is not normal,” Ibrahim said.
“I am from this town, I have been in the PDP for the last 20 years and we always hold political gatherings on Wednesdays (market days), I don’t think that the Commissioner of Police who just came to Jigawa yesterday will be telling us what to do in Gumel.”
The state Commissioner of Police Bala Zama Sench, however, said that the party did not state the exact location where it had planned to hold the rally.
According to the CP, holding the rally close to a market could disrupt traffic and movement of people, hence the need to ensure that another more convenient location was chosen.
He said, “You will realize that in their letter, they have not said this is the location where the rally will take place in Gumel, they did not indicate until late at night.
“I called the area commander and we were discussing about the strategy to ensure that they hold a peaceful flag off of their campaign in Gumel, so he now told me that the location where they are going to hold the rally is just by the market and that there is no way they can hold such a rally without disrupting traffic and movement of people and there would be a likelihood that there will be breach of peace and I said yes, I believe that the organisers are supposed to know that you cant have a campaign just by the market.
“You have to look for a place that is convenient for everybody.”