The Zamfara State government has directed Kolo Yusuf, the state’s Commissioner of Police to arrest journalists who attended a political gathering organised by Dauda Lawal, a gubernatorial candidate under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Abdul Balarabe, a journalist familiar with the incident posted on his Twitter handle yesterday evening.
In addition, it also ordered that some broadcast stations be shut down. They include NTA, Pride FM, Gamji TV and Al’umma TV among others. WikkiTimes gathered that the stations came under fire for airing the political event.
Ibrahim Dosara, the Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, announced the order on Saturday evening via a state-owned radio. The commissioner did not state justifications for closing the stations. However, informed sources believe that the motive was connected to their roles in the event that was held yesterday.
The event which took place at Lawal’s residence in Gusau led to the death of two people as the scene turned violent. Hitherto, the state government on Friday restricted movement in some banditry-prone areas and also banned all sorts of political gatherings in the state to “curb” insecurity.
This, the opposition party believes was aimed at disrupting its event. It argued that the government should have deployed more security personnel to the affected areas if that was its intention.
A few hours after the restriction, rampaging bandits reportedly invaded some communities in Anka and Bukkuyum local councils, kidnapping scores of people.
Sympathising with the locals, the government ordered the suspension of meetings by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party in the state.
“Stakeholders invited for the Friday APC Stakeholders’ Meeting are hereby advised to hold on for a new date for the meeting,” Dosara said. “Furthermore, the government has suspended all political activities in the state till further notice.”
“Political meetings and gatherings at individual residences are also banned with immediate effect,” he added.
WikkiTimes’ efforts to reach Mohammed Shehu, the spokesman for Zamfara Police Command were fruitless as he did not respond to calls. Also at press time, an enquiry sent to ascertain the claim that the government ordered the arrest of journalists who attended the event had not been responded to.