Nigerians are worried over the frequent attacks on politicians and their supporters in the current political dispensation, with the 2023 elections a few months away.
Just yesterday, the convoy of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was attacked in Maiduguri, Borno State.
Atiku’s campaign train was in Borno, a State dominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The thugs vandalised vehicles in the convoy of Atiku at Ramat Square in Maiduguri, the State capital.
While Senator Dino Malaye, the spokesman of the Atiku Campaign, had alleged the attack was carried out by the ruling party, it is not yet clear who carried out the attack.
More than 70 people were said to have been hospitalised after the attack and the PDP has insisted that the “cowardly violent attack” on Atiku Abubakar’s campaign train in Maiduguri, was carried out by APC thugs.
Before yesterday’s attack on Atiku, Reports that there have been such incidents across the country, where supporters of the leading candidates are attacked at one point or another either by hoodlums, hired thugs or supporters in the opposition.
Right after the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential primaries and while he was still in a celebration mood, the convoy of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was reportedly attacked and the journalists covering his Lagos homecoming were the victims of that attack.
The police in Lagos arrested eight members of cult groups over the attack on the convoy of Tinubu.
One of them, Ramon Aniseoju said they were directed to stop the motorcade from getting to its final destination.
As it was then gathered, the journalists were attacked while returning from the Palace of Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwanu Akiolu, where they had gone to cover Tinubu’s visit to the monarch.
The journalists involved were said to be those attached to the Lagos State Governor’s office. It was learnt that two journalists were injured while their bus was vandalised.
Their attackers were said to have stoned the bus conveying the journalists, while other weapons were also used to vandalise it.
In a similar development, there was an attack on the supporters of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi and this time in Nasarawa State.
One of the supporters, Joshua Alamu was injured when unknown persons launched the attack while members of the Obidient movement organised a rally in support of the former Anambra State governor’s presidential ambition in Lafia.
While some people believe that political thuggery has always been there and would get worse as the elections draw closer, a political watcher and lecturer at the University of Abuja, who pleaded anonymity, believes that Nigeria was far beyond what he described as “this primitive action’ and ‘senselessness.”
According to him, “Attacks on politicians and their supporters, whether by terrorists, bandits, thugs belonging to politicians or opposition supporters, stand condemned. Nobody should be attacked for supporting whatever they believe in.
“Nigerian youths should rather wake up to the challenge ahead of them and start asking questions about their future instead of being used as thugs. 2023 should be decisive. We understand that the current administration has exposed youths to the danger of hunger and grab and take. Majority of the youths are only interested in how they can survive hunger and starvation. So they accept whatever these politicians offer them to commit crimes and this is dangerous. Politicians are using the weapon of hunger and this will function maximally in the coming months.
Some Nigerians on Twitter also shared their opinions:
Talking about the attack on Atiku’s convoy, @Sadiyahamza24 said, “It’s sad to hear of the attack on PDP convoy in Maiduguri. This is unacceptable, but what else do you expect from Tinubu & Shettima, who are masters at the game of thuggery and violence? The police must help ensure that the electorates are protected from every violent machination.”
@Erikseen10, said, “Why won’t they attack his convoy? In 2015, in one of his campaigns for Buhari, he said they should vote Jonathan out.”
@Marvisgain said, “Too bad..Who is responsible for this? This country is just something else.”
@Marcsolar9, “Politics shouldn’t be a do or die affair…just do your campaign and leave the rest to the masses to vote..all these attacks are uncalled for ..election shouldn’t be by thuggery.”
@Holuwanteeboy, “You went to a State that you didn’t care about for a campaign, what were you expecting? They should welcome you with their hands open wide? Your handwork has started showing…”