By Yakubu Uba
Political thugs in Adamawa have disappeared from the streets after the police began a clampdown on them since the end of May.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the thugs, who were a permanent feature in government offices and political gatherings have melted away after a few of them were arrested for defacing Gov. Muhammadu Bindow billboards.
The thugs had reportedly destroyed the billboards erected to showcase the governor’s achievements, when they were barred from entering the Government House for events organised to mark Democracy Day.
The incident prompted the police to arrest the ringleaders while other thugs went underground.
“We are being arrested by the police and one has to stay away for things to cool down; some of us who have no godfather have left town for now,” said one of the thugs who spoke under condition of anonymity.
According to him, he is now a “good boy” and urged the police to forgive them.
Alhaji Ahmed Lawal, the state APC Organizing Secretary, said the disappearance of the thugs was a big relief to politicians.
“They have problem with the police and are keeping away to avoid arrest,” he said.
Lawal, who distributed rice to indigent women at the party’s secretariat, noted that the distribution exercise would have been disrupted by the thugs.
When contacted, the Adamawa Police Command spokesman, SP Othman Abubakar confirmed the arrest of some of the thugs involved in vandalising the governor’s billboards.
“We have arrested some suspects, but we are not engaged in a mass clampdown of political thugs as being speculated,” Abubakar said.
NAN reports that before now political appointees avoided coming to office to evade the thugs, who daily thronged government offices for their share of the spoils.
“Their behaviour is so disturbing and embarrassing that some of us have resolved to go to office to treat files after working hours,” a political appointee who preferred anonymity said.