The All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) in Borno State on Friday condemned the burning of its state chairman’s house by the youth vigilante group popularly called ‘Civilian JTF’ in Maiduguri, the state capital.
The group had alleged that the party chairman, Mala Othman, was a major financier of the Boko Haram terrorists.
The ANPP, which is the ruling party in the state, said the accusation against its chairman and the burning of his house were politically motivated by extraneous forces that have infiltrated the ranks of the youth group.
In a press statement issued and signed by its state secretary, Bakura Shettima after a meeting on Friday, the ANPP said it would have turned a blind eye to the incident had it not been that it was a deliberate ploy to smear the proven integrity of Othman.
“Our party chairman, Othman, is an accomplished politician who has the interest of the people and the development of the state at heart. Accusing him of such behavior is witch hunting of which the people of Borno state are never known for,” the party scribe said.
Mr. Shettima argued that the attempt to finger the ANPP chairman in the activities of the banned Islamist sect was in flagrant disregard of the basic facts on ground.
“In order to put the records straight, we want to establish the fact that it is on record that 99 percent of politicians killed since the Boko Haram insurgency began in the state are members of the ANPP, the ruling party in Borno State. The party has put Borno State on the path of unprecedented development under the able leadership of our State Chairman, Alhaji Mala Othman, who is a leader with unquestionable character. With this background, it is unimaginable to say that he is sponsoring the killing of his own people.
“We are appealing to the Youth Volunteers to be careful not to take the law into their hands and should be aware of politicians who might use them against their opponents in order to score cheap political goal,” he said.
Mr. Shettima, who called for full investigation into the Monday assault on the ANPP chieftain, appealed that “the youth volunteers should therefore confine themselves to the areas where they live and report any suspicious people or movement to security agencies for necessary action.”
It would be recalled that on Monday, the youth vigilante attacked the New GRA, Maiduguri, home of Mala Othman in an attempt to arrest him, but following his escape with the help of security operatives, the youths ended up burning his house.