Suspected political thugs attack governor’s critic

The victim of the new attack, Shamsu Kasida, is a staunch social media critic of the governor. He supports Kabir Marafa, one of Mr Matawalle’s opponents.

Two weeks after an attack on the offices of an online newspaper and TV station, suspected political thugs on Friday attacked a staunch critic of Zamfara Governor Bello Matawalle in Gusau, smashing his car.

Shamsu Kasida was beaten up and his car vandalised at an eatery close to the Government House in Gusau.

The managing editor of Thunder Blowers TV, Anas Anka, accused the state governor of orchestrating the earlier attack. He said the governor should be held responsible if anything happens to him or his staff.

The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) condemned the attack and called on Mr Matawalle to ensure fair play.

The victim of the new attack, Shamsu Kasida, is a staunch social media critic of the governor. He supports Kabir Marafa, one of Mr Matawalle’s opponents.

Both Marafa and Matawalle are in the All Progressives Congress (APC) but Mr Marafa has been protesting the way immediate former governor of the state, Abdulaziz Yari and himself have allegedly been sidelined by the APC National Headquarters.

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A friend of Mr Kasida, who spoke with newsmen over the phone, Ismaila Salmanu, alleged that the attack was politically motivated.

“He (Mr Kasida) was standing outside Yandoto Restaurant yesterday when the thugs started beating him. They were carrying dangerous weapons. While they were attacking him, one of them used a cutlass to attack him,” he said.

Yandoto Restaurant, one of the famous eateries in Gusau, is owned by Mr Marafa and is located on the same road as the Zamfara State Government House. The restaurant is directly facing the state’s seat of power.

Mr Salmanu said the thugs only stopped beating Mr Kasida after some bystanders intervened.

But that was after the windscreen of his Honda Accord car glasses had been smashed.

“Some of our friends that were with Kasida during the attack said the thugs ran into the Zamfara State Government House immediately after attacking him. We have taken him to a private hospital and he has been admitted. He has been badly injured but I can’t send his photos to you now,” Mr Salmanu said.

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Another source, who spoke on condition of anonymity said the thugs were led by a notorious thug in the metropolis, Danda Jan Wuya.

Mr Matawalle’s spokesperson, Zailani Bappa, did not respond to calls on the issue but had, during the Thunder Blowers TV case, told newsmen that the State Government would not be responding to accusations by “relevance seeking people”.

The police spokesperson, Mohammed Shehu, also did not respond to calls and SMS on the attack.

Bello Bakyasuwa, the spokesperson for Mr Marafa, said they would be addressing journalists on Monday, on the issue.

“Please bear with me. We are gathering all our facts and speaking to our people who were at the scene of the attack. We will brief newsmen on Monday and I will update you.”

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