No fewer than five persons died on Thursday, while many others were injured during President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign in Taraba State.
Two of the injured persons are said to be in critical state. The convoy of the State Governor Ishaku was also attacked on its way out of the Danbaba Suntai Airport, according to The Nation.
This occurred when the governor and his deputy Haruna Manu and other officials of the government went to see off President Buhari after the rally.
All of the governor’s posters and billboards and those of Atiku Abubakar in the State capital, Jalingo, were mutilated.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, confirmed the incident and condemned the “unfortunate bloodletting.”
He also accused security agents of negligence of duty.
“The deputy governor’s car and several other cars in the convoy, including that of the commissioner of police and a special Adviser to the governor, were damaged.
“The thugs, most of whom were imported from neighbouring states to create the false impression that APC enjoys a large following in the state, came heavily armed.
“They carried guns, cutlasses and sticks, which they displayed openly and in the full glare of security agents who merely looked the other way,” Abu said.
He also accused those he described as “APC thugs” of going round Jalingo metropolis and destroying PDP posters and billboards.
“They were given cover by the security agencies who fired gunshots to scare away those who may dare to confront them.
“What happened today is a big contrast to the PDP presidential flag-off of February 5 in Jalingo, which attracted a large crowd but recorded no incidence of crisis and deaths.
“Residents of Wukari are still leaking the wounds of the APC violent visitation of January 29, during which PDP posters and bill boards were torn and a member of the PDP killed.
“The Taraba State government will no longer fold its arms while innocent people are being killed and maimed,” Abu said.
President Buhari mourn victims of overcrowding at APC rally in Jalingo
President Buhari has expressed sadness over of loss of lives at the All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential Campaign Rally in Jalingo, Taraba State on Thursday.
Reacting to reports of the tragic death of some APC supporters due to the overwhelming crowd at the Jolly Nyame Stadium, the President said:
“I always feel very sad and distressed when ordinary Nigerians who love me and our party because of what we stand for and have done, make personal sacrifices by taking the pains to show their support, end their lives tragically.”
While appreciating the massive support he is receiving all over the country, President Buhari calls for restraint on the part of his supporters to avoid such tragic incidences, and improved crowd management at rally grounds.
“I want them to stay alive and witness the dividends of purposeful governance that the APC administration will unfold when they renew our mandate,” he said. Commiserating with the families of the victims and the APC family, the President prays Almighty God to grant peace to the souls of the departed and speedy recovery to the injured.