Bauchi 23: Human rights group asks DSS to investigate ex-Air Chief for allegedly recruiting ‘1,000 militants thugs’
The Human Rights Advocacy Centre has called on the Department of States Services to investigate the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Bauchi State, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (rtd) over an alleged link to insecurity in the state.
A security signal seen by SaharaReporters during the weekend had shown how Sadique and his party recruited 1,000 militants and political thugs ahead of the 2023 election in the state.
The move it was gathered was part of the former Air Force Chief and the APC’s electioneering strategies to win the 2023 governorship election in the state.
A colonel in the army, who spoke on condition of anonymity had told SaharaReporters that Sadique and APC recruited “over 1000 foot soldiers with arms to destabilise parts of the state perceived as opposition’s stronghold.”
“It has been a scary situation in Bauchi state since Sadique Abubakar won the APC ticket.
“There have been sponsored crime and criminality in the state. We have received so many security reports on this issue. Even some of his party members are scared of him.”
An APC member stated that the party is now at the mercy of Sadique as he imposed himself on the party through threats and blackmail of those he perceived as a stumbling block to his governorship ambition.
“I can tell you that what happened in Bauchi state is a case of imposition through threats. The former chief of air staff exhibited a high level of desperation and is willing to crush anyone that stands in his way. Some of the boys he trained and armed while in office brandished sophisticated weapons at the slightest opportunity, even in the full glare of security operatives,” he said.
Reacting, Human Rights Advocacy Centre in a letter signed by its convener, Comrade Ajibade Moses Adebayo and addressed to the Director-General of the secret police called for Sadique’s investigation.
The centre said its position was hinged on the APC guber candidate’s “blatant and arrogant display of power and affluence with known supporters of his oppressing and coercing citizens into submission to his whims and caprices”.
It confirmed that the former Chief of Air Staff has equipped a militia group to oppress dissenting voices opposed to him.
The human rights group cited how Sadique was reported to have blackmailed his fellow aspirants before the party’s primaries, adding that those against his ambition were visited with violence.
“The state is now surrounded by groups believed to be offspring of the dreaded Boko Haram group. These groups operate at the behest of Abubakar. They are also well-armed and sometimes adorn military camouflage in their various operations in wrecking havoc on commmunities and settlements all to coerce these settlements into submission and acceptance of his gubernatorial ambition,” it said.
“It is therefore curios that the APC has not known peace since Abubakar won the party’s nomination. As a fact, his supposed victory was celebrated with sporadic gunshots in different parts of the state.
“Even in his convoy, it is common to see gun-touting individuals that are not known security operatives operating freely in the full glare of the general public. And they bear every resemblance to the Boko Haram terrorist group in their dressing and operational pickup vehicles with suggestive Arabic inscriptions.
“It is indeed a dire situation and Abubakar and his cronies have instituted a reign of terror in different parts of the state through covert sponsorship of the operation of the terror groups. The various indices point in the direction of Air Marshal Abubakar as sponsor of the renewed spate of insecurity in the state”.
The centre, therefore, charged the DSS to investigate the former CAS to ascertain his complicity and culpability in the recent surge in insecurity in Bauchi.
“We fear that if the situation is allowed to fester, Bauchi might erupt in violence and become the new operational headquarters for terrorist groups,” the centre added.
“It is our prayer that in the event that Abubakar is found guilty, he should be made to face the full wrath of the law. Bauchi is bleeding at the moment”.