Revelations by Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda on the stoning of President Goodluck Jonathan in the state during a campaign rally was said to have shocked the Presidency and the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Yuguda, in an interview with the BBC Hausa service, said that the stoning and the attack on the President were carried out by members of the ruling PDP.
Before now, the Presidency and the ruling party had accused the opposition All Progressives Congress of being the mastermind of the attack.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof. Rufai Alkali, and the PDP Presidential Campaign Office, however insisted that the attack was carried out by the APC.
But Yuguda, a member of the National Executive Committee of the PDP, insisted that those who organised the youths that threw stones and pelted the President with sachet water, were members of the party from Abuja.
The governor said, “I am sure and let the world know that the people who did this thing were PDP members and those politicians in Abuja were the ones behind it; they were not APC members.
“They found these youths on the road and gave them brooms and satchets of water and they instructed them that when the President was passing they should raise the brooms and throw the satchets of water at him.
“They did that so that the President would think that Isa Yuguda is against him. They have been telling him in Abuja that we are not supporting him. They did that to show the President that Isa Yuguda is nothing in Bauchi, to show that despite being an indigene of Bauchi, Isa Yuguda could not be respected with his guests in Bauchi.”
Yuguda also said that he and members of his cabinet were not aware of the plan ahead of the rally, saying they were taken by surprise.
Reacting to the governor’s statement, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Alhaji Ibrahim Jalo, said that only the governor was in a position to clarify his statement on the matter.
Jalo said, “How can my party be organising stoning? Anyway, Yuguda has spoken on the issue. He should be the one to clarify his position on the matter.
“I was in Bauchi that day and I saw what happened. The governor said it was done by PDP members. Ask him to speak further on it.”
However, a presidency source described the governor’s statement as unfortunate.
“How can he speak like that? We have condemned it; the party has condemned it and now, he’s blaming the party for this. That’s bad,” a presidential aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak officially on the matter, told our correspondent.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said he was happy that Yuguda was able to summon the courage to clarify what happened in the state.
Mohammed said, “Governor Yuguda’s interview has vindicated the APC and confirmed our position that the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan will stop at nothing to scuttle this election.
“It is sad that in their desperation PDP and Jonathan are ready to bring down the nation.
“Thanks to Governor Yuguda. The whole world now sees the hypocrisy and perfidy of President Jonathan and the PDP.
“In Jos, Kano, Bauchi, Rivers and other states we have witnessed electoral violence, PDP are the instigators and aggressors.”
But the Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP presidential campaign organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, warned the APC on Sunday to stop blaming the ruling party for the attacks on the President.