Ahead of Saturday’s polls, five people have been reportedly killed with several vehicles vandalized as a result of a violent clash between supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC), in Kano state.
Backstory: The clash which occurred on Thursday escalated from interactions between supporters of former Governor, Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Adulmumuni Jibrin, a former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, stakeholders of the PDP and APC respectively.
The chaos allegedly began when Kwankwaso and his entourage disrupted a prayer session which was being attended by Jibrin and his supporters.
Outside the deaths reported, several people sustained injuries, while vehicles and other properties were gutted by fire and destroyed.
Trading Blames: Both parties have blamed each other for the unfortunate event.
Governor of the state, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in a statement released by Muhammad Garba, the Kano Commissioner for Information, Youth and Culture, said: “Kwankwasiyya PDP thugs, under the watchful eyes of their leader Rabiu Kwankwaso, attacked the APC supporters. The Kwankwasiyya ruffians are in an apparent attempt to put a clog in the wheel of progress toward ensuring a free and peaceful election in the state.”
Contradicting the APC narrative, the PDP governorship candidate, Kabir Abba Yusuf, released a statement through his spokesperson, Sunusi Bature Dawakin Tofa. He said Kwankwaso and his supporters had been attacked by APC supporters while passing through Jibrin’s town.
He said although the former governor is safe, several PDP supporters sustained major injuries from the attack, while properties were also destroyed.
Bottom Line: Kano is one of the flashpoint states of this election. Its large voting population has traditionally been a safe bet for President Muhammadu Buhari. In 2015, the sitting president Goodluck Jonathan could not even manage up to 15% of the votes in the state. However with the defection of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the race is expected to become tighter, hence the heightened tensions.