The Zamfara State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, over what it described as unlawful harassment of members of opposition parties with security agents on the orders of Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle.

In a copy of the petition signed by the Director General, Governorship Campaign Council of the party, Iqra Aliyu Bilbis, and obtained by SaharaReporters, the party accused the governor of using all state apparatus including the Nigerian police, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the State Vigilante Service to intimidate and suppress dissenting voices in the state.

The party said they could no longer guarantee the safety of their members and supporters in the state, adding that they had credible information that a squad had been activated by the state government to eliminate members of the opposition.

The petition read in part, “Sir, it is with a heart full of trepidation and responsibility that the Zamfara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) brings to your notice a potentially explosive situation in Zamfara State.

“It is obvious that the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, is all out to crush opposition and dissenting views and anyone that he sees as a threat in the quest for the realisation of his second term ambition. Well-meaning patriots who are non-political actors have neither been spared and are among the most affected victims of Matawalle’s war without reason.

“It was public knowledge that the Zamfara State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) planned to receive hundreds of thousands decampees from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to our party on Saturday, October 15, 2022. It is also an established fact that the same was communicated to relevant security agencies in Zamfara State for necessary action.

“A day to the event, on Friday 14th October 2022, our governorship candidate in the 2023 election, Dr. Dauda Lawal was attacked on his way to Gusau, by thugs sponsored by the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the State Governor. We have supporting evidence of the attack, including videos of how our vehicles were smashed and burnt by the miscreants.

“On the day of the event, Saturday 15th October, 2022, we set out to peacefully carry out our programs as stated above, but as people began to gather, the sponsored thugs led by an official of the State Government, Aliyu Alhazai Shinkafi, the former chairman of the Zamfara Anti-thuggery committee and commandant of the Zamfara Road Traffic Agency (ZAROTA) stormed the residence of our governorship candidate which happened to be the venue of our activities and attacked our peaceful procession and subsequently fired live rounds of ammunition thereby causing pandemonium. In the renewed unprovoked attack, our campaign buses were vandalised and looted.

“The petition narrated how the Governor used police Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) to their campaign office located at Unguwar Dallatu, along Gusau central market expressway adding that they have credible intelligence that the CTU acted on the instruction of their commander.

“The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Matawalle-led government intend to unlawfully use state apparatus to stop our campaign activities across the Zamfara. The hooliganism we were not praying for has returned to the state. The issue is a source of concern, lawlessness, brigandage, and provocation capable of heightening the tension in the state.”

“It is deplorable how the Chief Security Officer to the Zamfara State Governor, CSP Ibrahim N. Angbasa, abandoned his primary responsibilities and turned himself into the neutraliser of any threats against the Governor’s second term ambition.

“This includes arbitrary prosecution of opposition elements on phantom charges, arrest of social critics, and threats to the freedom, safety, and even life of anyone who opposes the return of the governor. These practices are akin to dictatorship as witnessed under military regimes. However, Matawalle has morphed into a rare breed of a democratic dictator and tyrant fused in one,” the petition added.