The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Sokoto State and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are bickering over alleged intimidation of traditional and religious leaders in the state.
APC yesterday alleged that the PDP was threatening and intimidating traditional and religious leaders into supporting and campaigning for it in the state.
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The chairman of APC in the state, Isa Sadiq Achida, in a statement, further alleged that traditional title holders and highly placed businessmen also faced threats of being dethroned and losing their business premises unless they declared their support for the PDP.
APC also accused the ruling party of withholding the salaries of junior staff of local government councils for no reason other than their political persuasion.
However, the party was silent on the identities of the traditional, religious and businessmen being threatened.
“We view this as an attempt to use false propaganda to dent the good image of our traditional institution and at the same time, cripple democracy in Sokoto State.
“The question begging for answer is, when did the expression of one’s political preference become a punishable offence?,” APC asked.
In its reaction, the ruling PDP noted that the PDP administration of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, had always respected the traditional institution in the state.
“Tambuwal administration has never threatened any traditional ruler from hamlet, ward, and village to district heads, let alone sack any.
“This is in contrast to the administration of Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko who, in disrespect of the institution and to force them to be partisan, sacked some district heads. He installed his brother as District Head of Wamakko,” the statement signed by the publicity secretary of PDP, Hassan Sahabi, alleged.
On the alleged destruction of APC campaign billboards, PDP explained that, it was the mandate of authorities such as the Sokoto Urban and Regional Planning Board (SURPB), to charge all candidates, irrespective of their political parties, for the placement of billboards at strategic locations in towns and villages.