There was a serious scuffle among the crowd on Thursday, 6th of September when Presidential Aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, submitted his nomination and expression of interest forms at the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party, Abuja.
The commotion turned into a stampede caused by Atiku’s supporters and rival political thugs which made the policemen to shoot repeatedly into the air to disperse the unruly crowd.
Atiku’s supporters showed up as early as 8.55am, with banners and drums. In reaction to Atiku’s arrival, rival political thugs from APC showed up and competed with Atiku’s supporters. While they exchanged songs, a fight broke out and they attacked each other, chasing themselves around the secretariat with dangerous weapons.
The fight, spread to adjourning streets in the area, and led to the beating of a man believed to be a fan of Atiku. The policemen intervened early and fired several gunshots into the air to stop the fight. this saved the situation from degenerating.
An eyewitness, who is also a supporter of the Presidential aspirant, spoke with journalists on how the incident started.
“The fight started when some thugs with the APC posters attacked us along the Michael Okpara Street opposite the party secretariat. “The APC supporters started singing songs against the supporters of the former Vice-President. The supporters of Atiku retaliated, before fight broke out.
“We, the supporters of Atiku, saw that the thugs came to disrupt the event.
“We believe that the thugs were sent to disrupt the event and cause crisis to put Atiku in a bad light.”
Atiku however, spoke after submitting his forms to the National Organising Secretary of the party, Col. Austin Akobundu (retd.).
“I have just submitted my nomination form to the Peoples Democratic Party to officially declare my intention to seek the nomination of the party to run for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the election scheduled for 2019.
“I would not be seeking this nomination if our country is working. I am very sad that 11 million Nigerians have become unemployed since May 29, 2015.
“And this does not include the millions more who never had a job since leaving school. I have created thousands of jobs in my private businesses and I know how to lead a government that would do the same for Nigeria.
“It weighs deeply on my heart that Nigeria has become the world headquarters for extreme poverty according to the World Economic Forum and the World Poverty Clock.
“I am not happy that there are so much killings and terror across the country that the Global Terrorism Index rates Nigeria as more terrorised today than she was in 2015.”
Atiku also condemned the violent incident, which he said was perpetrated by trouble-makers at the headquarters of the party, as he praised the police and other security personnel for containing the situation. He also advised Nigerians to allow peace reign.
Meanwhile, the PDP has cautioned the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, to caution his members whom it alleged attempted to disrupt activities at its national secretariat.
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