6 killed at APC rally venue in Maiduguri
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, has said the people of Borno State has suffered for over six years under the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
He added that he was in the state in 1975 as governor of the defunct North-East states, and was very happy that the people of Borno State still held him in high regard, and, as such, promised that if elected, he would do everything possible to put the insurgents under control.
The APC standard-bearer said: “I’m happy that I received befitting welcome. If elected, I will focus on tackling the persistent insecurity affecting North-East. It is not easy as the damage has been done. Your royal highness, God willing, if APC government is elected, all towns under Boko Haram control will be liberated and rebuilt.”He said: ‘‘It was unfortunate that commercial activities were paralysed, following the insecurity, in the past. Hundreds of trailers loaded with goods took off from Maiduguri to various neighbouring countries, but at present, the reverse is the situation.
“Boko Haram ideology contradicts Islamic principles because it does not allow senseless killings of innocent souls. It is unfortunate that innocent persons were being killed in mosques, churches and their houses, God willing, if APC government is elected, we will restore confidence in governance.” Buhari stated.
In his remarks, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi, said if elected, the presidential candidate should focus on restoration of peace, massive investment, re-construction of federal roads, revamp of Lake Chad and ensure success of oil exploration in the Lake Chad region.
Those in attendance at the rally included APC national chairman, Chief John Oyegun; Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, former PDP national chairman, Chief Audu Ogbe; Senator Lawal Sha’aibu; Umar Faruk Aliyu; Senator Hadi Sirika; APC secretary, General Lawan Dambazay; Mai Mala Bunu; Hadiza Bala Usman.
Meanwhile, six people were confirmed killed in stampede, while several others were hospitalised, as Buhari’s supporters, went wild shortly before the APC presidential candidate climbed the podium to make his speech after paying homage to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Elkanemi.
As supporters of the General broke gates to attend the Borno APC rally, the Nigerian Tribune gathered that some asthmatic patients in the crowd fell dead with several others sustaining injuries in a stampede at the party’s presidential campaign/rally held at the Ramat Square, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Our correspondent who was at the venue, as well as other newsmen, climbed the fence to escape stampede during the uncoordinated visit. The governor had since visited the victims at the hospital.
The rally was attended by the APC presidential candidate, General Buhari, his running mate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Kashim Shettima, state and national candidates of the APC, party stalwarts and thousands of its supporters.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that among the six people killed, two were asthmatic patients who were trapped in the stampede, while others died as a result of accident and a stray bullets fired by security operatives while controlling the crowd that attempted to burn down PDP offices in the state.
Likewise, four people who claimed to be members of Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) were shot by security operatives while attempting to stop two trucks loaded with military arms and ammunition that were entering the town.
Sources and residents said the trucks were intercepted around Umar Shehu General Hospital in Bulumkutu area of the metropolis. They disclosed that when security men attached to the trucks insisted that the arms and ammunition belonged to military operatives, the youth refused to heed to their explanations, a situation that led to a disagreement which resulted in shooting four of the youths.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that one of the youths that was shot died before getting to the hospital for treatment due to excessive bleeding.
It was also gathered that, at the venue of the rally, sporadic gunshots, including sustained firing by the Military Armoured Personnel Carrier and tear gas engulfed the venue of the rally, all in an attempt to control the crowd.
General Buhari, who stormed the venue of the rally at 1:30p.m could not address the crowd, who started vandalising channel cables and stealing their cameras which led to the instant cut off of the live coverage.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that General Buhari had to be sneaked out of the venue to the Government House, Maiduguri, where he was expected to have indoor meeting with some Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) officials in the state.
Source: Tribune


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