No fewer than two journalists have been arrested in Gombe State following the planned demolition of the campaign office of the Gombe governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Muhammad Barde.
The journalists, Chika Udenkwo of Africa Independent Television and Joseph Atabo, attempted to film the charged location next to the presidential box.
Our correspondent reports that Udenkwo was beaten by angry youths believed to be “Kalare” thugs before his identity was revealed by some of his colleagues at the scene.
The Kalare thugs were spotted with dangerous weapons near Liberty Junction while heavily armed Special Weapon Armed Tactics officers cordoned off the two areas from Government House and the Government Reserved Area.
Earlier, officials of the Gombe State Urban Planning and Development Authority invited journalists for a briefing at 10:30 am. At that time, the demolition of some buildings in the Gombe metropolis was to begin, particularly Barde’s building, which had become the subject of a legal dispute.
However, the officers tasked with the demolition were repelled by another police unit, said to be six special protection units provided by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, at the request of the PDP candidate.
When asked, the Commissioner of Police, Ishola Babaita, said he had been informed of the arrest of the journalists and would get back to them shortly.
At the time of writing, the GOSUPDA men had not yet succeeded in the demolition as SPU officials guarding Barde’s compound had reportedly threatened to shoot at them if they proceeded after SWAT officers fired tear gas.
Abdullahi Hussaini, a local resident, warned politicians to take the path of peace, stressing that violence is not a good sign for anyone.
He said, “Politicians should sit down and understand where the rift is coming from. Politics is not a matter of life and death. I would like to urge the youth to stay away from political brawls and allow peace to prevail, they should get involved where it is needed.