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Cablegate: Zamfara Political Violence: At It Again

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ABUJA 002539

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINS NI
SUBJECT: ZAMFARA POLITICAL VIOLENCE: AT IT AGAIN


REF: (A) ABUJA 2514


Sensitive But Unclassified -- Please Handle Accordingly.


1. (U) APP and PDP supporters clashed violently in the
streets of Gusau, capital of Zamfara State, following a PDP
rally on October 4. Four persons died, 19 were critically
injured and 74 were arrested. Both sides attacked property
belonging to the leadership of the other party. APP members
vandalized PDP Headquarters and the homes of PDP leaders.
PDP members torched government vehicles and attacked the
houses of top APP figures, as well as Gov. Sani's personal
residence.


2. (U) Armed APP thugs reportedly accompanied Sani during
his tour to inspect the damage, chanting "Sai Yerimah" (No
one but Sani" (for Governor in 2003). The VOA correspondent
in Gusau told us he asked the military Area Commander how the
APP could be allowed to rally so soon after a violent
confrontation. He reportedly replied that it was the
responsibility of Commissioner of Police (CP) Aaron Ibiloye
to issue permits for political rallies, but added that the
military was watching the situation "very closely." Perhaps
in response to Sani's irresponsibility, or the CP's inability
to reign him in, Inspector General Musiliu Smith has now sent
in an Assistant Inspector General of Police to manage
security matters.


3. (SBU) Comment: This event is the latest in a series of
skirmishes between APP and PDP supporters in Zamfara. There
has been a longstanding political feud between Gov. Sani and
the NSA Aliyu Mohammed. Each has now asked the President to
take action against the other. Sani has gone so far as to
approach Poloff with a request for the Embassy to intercede
on his behalf with Obasanjo. Sani's desperation is due in
part to the fact that the 2003 elections loom, and he has
very little to show on the ground for his first term. End
Comment.
Jeter

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