Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Bauchi State chapter has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of harassment and demolishing one of its offices in the state capital.
The building located on Jos road roundabout was reportedly demolished to give room for an expansion due to an ongoing road dualisation project.
The party however debunks the government’s claim, saying that it demolished the building being occupied by the party as part of a plan to intimidate and stifle its growing popularity in the state.
Addressing a press conference at the state party’s secretariat in Bauchi Saturday, the secretary of the party, Mahmood Baba Ma’aji, said that the building is the second largest secretariat of the party in the state and was rented by the party from its owner, Alhaji Musa Dan Kyarana.
“To our utter dismay, the Bauchi State Development Board recently placed a ‘Remove’ on the building under the pretext that the state government is to expand the roundabout in its continued process of road dualisation,” he said.
NNPP however argued that contrary to the government’s claim, the road has been completed at the location with drainages constructed far from the NNPP office.
It added that the continued attempt by the government to demolish the NNPP office was a disregard to an ongoing case filed by the party at the state High Court number 7 seeking to restrain the state Development Board and the Bauchi State government from demolishing the building.
According to the party, the presiding judge had already intimated the state counsel to caution the government and its agency not to temper with the building until the matter is determined by the court.
“A letter of petition filed by NNPP to the commissioner of police also yielded no result as the party is only advised to maintain peace with no reference to the appeal seeking the security agents to prevail over the government not to execute it’s illegal mission,” it added.
The party maintained that the APC administration in Bauchi State has lost its popularity, while the NNPP is gaining more ground and having more members which was the reason the state government lost focus and became hostile towards the party.
“No wonder all the buildings in the same direction at the said Jos Roundabout, only the NNPP office is targeted and chosen for demolishing.
“NNPP being a law abiding party is calling on all its good members, supporters, sympathisers and those who wish Bauchi State well to calm down and continue to exercise patience and keep on with their prayers with the hope that victory will be theirs at the end of the day,” the party urged.
In reaction to the allegations, the APC state organising secretary, Lawan Gyan-Gyan, said that the NNPP is crying foul where there is non.
“The building does not belong to them, they only rented it. There is an ongoing road expansion and the government feels that the section where the building is need to be expanded and the action was backed by law because it is for an overriding public interest. So, the issue is just purely politics and to portray the APC-led administration of Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar in bad light,” he said.