In the local government areas of Bakura and Talata Mafara, Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle imposed a 24-hour curfew after two people were killed in violent clashes between party supporters ahead of the bye-election.
After the violence that also left many wounded, the police have also cancelled campaigns for the bye-election in the Bakura Local Government District.
The governor said that the curfew was enforced to protect lives and property, warning that the government of the state will not fold its arms and watch individuals participate in a breach of public peace.
Mr. Matawalle said that some politicians had taken advantage of political rallies to stir up trouble ahead of the bye-election in Bakura.
Therefore, I use this medium to notify the good people in the local government areas of Bakura and Talata Mafara to stay indoors for 24 hours to protect your lives and property, your dignity as well the governor said.”
Sokoto’s Assistant Inspector-General of the Police in Charge of Zone 10, Mustapha Muhammad, who was drafted for election, reported that two people were killed in the violence and the campaign was banned by the police to prevent more bloodshed.
Mr . Mustapha, speaking to reporters at the Bakura Police Division Office on Thursday, said there was tension in the region following the violence.
“We have immediately directed all contending political parties to stop the ongoing campaigns in order to prevent further killings and the undesired cause of further damage,” Mr Mustapha said. “This should be respected in order to reign in peace.”
At a press conference, the governor also announced that two people were killed and six others were wounded and responding to medical therapy.
He said The members of the APC dismantled a canopy already installed to host the PDP campaign rally that resulted in the clashes.” For the venue, approval was granted to the PDP three days earlier.’
“I call on President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute an investigation panel to unravel the reality of the situation leading to chaos in order to penalize the offenders,” added the governor.
On Saturday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fixed a vacant seat in the State House of Assembly for the bye-election, with 14 parties contesting.
Witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES that members of the ruling PDP and the opposition APC fought at the council headquarters in Bakura city over the only public venue for political gatherings.
Earlier, the PDP accused the APC on Thursday of trying to disrupt the election in the state.
Shehu Danfulani, the PDP chairman in Zamfara, alleged that APC-loyal thugs carried guns to scare away PDP supporters in the region.
He said two PDP supporters who tried to stop them were shot and injured by the alleged thugs.
The thugs also targeted security personnel sent to the region to ensure stability during the election, Mr. Danfulani said.
As of the time of filing this article, the state APC chairman, Shehu Isa, could not be reached for comment.
We’re going to deploy 2,300 officers—Police
State Police Commissioner Usman Nagogo called on the 14 political parties involved in the bye-election to monitor their supporters.
This was reported by the police chief during a city hall meeting organised by the security agencies on Thursday last week.
He said the police would deploy 2,300 officers across the constituency’s 104 wards to cover election activities.
At the gathering, INEC, security agencies and 14 political parties signed agreements to ensure that by-elections are carried out peacefully.
Speaking at the meeting, Amina Maikudi, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, urged voters to respect the protocols of Covid-19.
“All voters on the queue are expected to wear face masks, observe social distancing and use hand sanitizer to protect ourselves from contracting and spreading the Covid-19 virus,” Mrs Maikudi said.