Is Gombe Witnessing A Return of ‘Kalare’ Thuggery Into It’s Mainstream Politics ?

The Oasis Reporters

March 3, 2019

After the Gombe disturbance.
Photo credit: Engr. Yusuf Babadidi

Reports from different parts of Gombe, March 2, 2019, depicted that some thugs loyal to a political party where unleashed on innocent people in the city. The level of destruction of property and harassment of innocent people including a media house became the mind boggling outcome, according to Ahmed Magem, a social worker and Founder of StartUp Gombe.

Gombe, after the trouble by thugs.
Photo credit: Engr. Yusuf Babadidi.

Going into Saturday’s elections, there are calls for heavy security presence, especially in Gombe town.

Gombe residents were urged to restrict their movements and if possible avoid CROSS (main roundabout), Gombe Line axis and major roads. Several people lost property and many were injured.

Another source told our correspondent that suspected APC thugs had obstructed the road to prevent the governor, Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo from entering into Gombe town on his way from the Airport.

Consequently, youths sympathetic to the PDP mobilized and responded, with the skirmishes as result.

Another report reached The Oasis Reporters that suspected APC thugs had destroyed PDP billboards, on the eve of the visit of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari to Gombe for his reelection campaign a few weeks ago.

The whole Gombe town was placed on alert as other citizens went about their businesses. Then, it started all like a movie. Suspected thugs loyal to the APC went on a rampage, destroying every poster, billboard, and roadside shacks belonging to the PDP. This got to a level where police officers had to rush down quickly to protect the PDP Secretariat.

Yesterday, March 2, 2019, many PDP members trooped to the airport to welcome Governor Dankwambo back to the state after his loss at the Gombe North Senatorial elections. On their way back from the airport, suspected PDP thugs took over this time to unleash mayhem like their APC counterparts did.

Not a few people were caught off guard and left very surprised at the turn of events wondering if the state capital is witnessing a return of “Kalare” thuggery to mainstream Gombe politics.

Questions have been asked by Gombe watchers, what the police were probably doing to have allowed youths to block a governor from entering his state capital. More so, as stakeholders in the electoral contest all signed a peace pact before the elections commenced.

It has become obvious that the quiet mien and disposition of Governor Dankwambo seems to have covered this cauldron of a predilection to violent outbursts by certain youths in Gombe city.

Is this the part of a wider plan to use thugs to destabilize elections on the 9th March, 2019 ? Questions are being asked.

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Just last week after the Presidential and National Assembly elections many thugs loyal to the APC still went on rampage despite their overwhelming victory to attack innocent people all across town. This has left many people wondering why such is the case in Gombe again. Even with victory?

With regards to elections and politics Gombe has been recorded as having a not too enviable record of needless violence and bloodshed.

“We call on the leadership of both political parties to rein in their thugs in the interest of peace and harmony in Gombe State. Elections should not be turned to war. No one should lose his life or property to election violence. No reason whatsoever for this.

Our security agents should hold party leaders accountable for any breach of public peace as well as ensuring that there is peace before and after the elections.

Citizens should restrict their movements this period and use alternative routes to avoid known flash points in the city. Make phone calls ahead of time to find out about the pulse of the city before venturing out or going to any area.

Talk to your families about what is happening and keep everyone secured. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

I am expecting a largely peaceful election like that of last week. However, don’t take chances with your safety”, a stakeholder in Gombe peace, wrote recently.

Ibrahim Garba responded by saying, “No reasonable human being will like to see what happened during the grand finale rally of APC and how they celebrated Buhari’s declaration with violence. Similarly the rally of PDP yesterday is not all acceptable and that should be discouraged in its entirety.
Governor Dankwambo has tried his best to maintain law and order in Gombe State but at long last he is being dared to allow such to happen. Yesterday from his own side, my prayer is that now that all the sides have tasted the bitterness of violence and we all are condemning it from both sides, may God touch the heart of the leaders of both sides to choose the path of peace and direct their youth to sheath their swords. Amen. Our general peaceful coexistence in Gombe State is paramount over any other interest. All traditional and religious leaders should stand up to this negative new dawn before the governorship election so that all flared nerves will cool down otherwise we will witness what we have never seen in Gombe state. May God forbid. Amen”.

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Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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