Electoral violence: Kano’s Tudun Wada residents demand justice

SOME survivors of the electoral violence that rocked the Doguwa/Tudun Wada area of Kano State during the general elections have appealed to the government to investigate the attacks which claimed several lives and left many injured.

The residents of the Tudun Wada area made the appeal while speaking to The ICIR in a special report published on April 21. The report revealed how some members of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) were caught in a fire attack by political thugs while the collation of results was ongoing on Sunday, February 26.

The NNPP office located in Sabon Gari Ward was set ablaze, resulting in multiple fatalities and burns. Some residents were also shot dead, while some luckily escaped.


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Speaking in the report published by The ICIR, eyewitnesses and survivors of the attack accused Alhassan Doguwa, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of sponsoring the attack and called on the National Human Rights Commission and relevant authorities to investigate the incident.

Doguwa is the incumbent member representing the Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal constituency of Kano State.

An eighteen-year-old survivor, Labaran Sule, told The ICIR that he is still angry at the incident and cannot forgive Alhassan Doguwa and the thugs who he accused of attacking him.

Sule escaped death by the whiskers. Aside from being shot in the shoulder, he was also macheted close to his neck. He was in a pool of blood by the roadside when help came his way, and was taken to the hospital.

“It was about 3 p.m. in the afternoon when I came out of the mosque and saw the office of NNPP on fire, and Doguwa had two guns in his hands. The distance between myself and him wasn’t much, and before I knew what happened, he shot me in the shoulder for no reason. I was crawling and trying to escape when he ordered a thug with a machete to cut me or give him the machete to do it.”

Also speaking to The ICIR, Abdul Sarkin-Power (as he is fondly called) said his 25-year-old son Muhammed was in the office of the NNPP, where he got burnt to death.

Sarkin power appealed to human rights organisations, the government and relevant authorities to get justice for his murdered son, who had just obtained his National Certificate in Education (NCE) certificate.

The Kano State Police Command had arrested Doguwa following allegations of murder levelled against him. The police spokesperson Haruna Kiyawa disclosed that the lawmaker was arrested in connection to a suspected case of criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, causing grievous hurt, mischief by fire and inciting disturbance.

Doguwa was subsequently charged to court, after which a federal high court in Kano granted him bail of N500 million with two sureties. The case was, however, adjourned to April 10 for the continuation of trial but on that date, the matter did not come up as the court didn’t sit.

According to the report, the registrar of Court Two, where Doguwa is being tried, disclosed that the case was subsequently adjourned to May 10.

Speaking in The ICIR report, a coalition of over 140 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of the Kano Civil Society Forum (KCS) led by Ibrahim Waiya, who is also the chairman of the Kano Peace Committee, raised concerns over the seeming slow pace in Doguwa’s trial.

Waiya, in a public petition signed by 500 members, urged the Kano State Government to accelerate the legal process to establish Doguwa’s role in the murder cases.






     

     

    The report also disclosed that INEC staff and party agents were attacked during the attack.

    The REC, Ambassador Abdul, while speaking at a stakeholders meeting for the conduct of the supplementary polls, described the violence that took place in Tudun Wada as abysmal.

    In the same vein, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Department of Operations Mu’azu Muhammed, hinted that the police will secure the now-concluded election with armed and unarmed police officers.

    Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission on April 16, announced Doguwa as the winner of the Tudun Wada/Doguwa Constituency election after defeating his closest rival, the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Yushau Salisu, who polled 34,831 votes.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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