Posted by News Express | 23 January 2015 | 3,412 times
For the second time in three days, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and top officials of his administration, as well as of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were yesterday attacked by angry youths believed to be supporters of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
The President’s campaign for the February 14 election was disrupted in Bauchi State by the youths, who chanted anti-Jonathan slogans, destroyed PDP billboards, disrupted proceedings at the rally, damaged vehicles belonging the president’s campaign team and stoned his convoy as he went through town.
Six operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) attached to the President have been hospitalised after sustaining varying degrees of injuries from the attack, a Presidential source disclosed this morning. He said the presidential body guards got injured when the APC supporters attacked the last bus on the convoy which conveying the DSS operatives with a big stone which smashed the windscreen and caused injuries for the occupants. “While four of them who only needed minor treatment were discharged immediately, another two, a lady and a man who had deep cuts on their heads were seriously injured and will be flown to Abuja immediately for operations,” the source said.
The violence erupted after a section of the crowd at the rally started throwing stones, sachets of water and other objects into the pavilion where dignitaries were standing to address the audience.
Eyewitnesses said that after the rally, the youths also attacked anyone seen coming from the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) Square venue.
President Jonathan’s convoy was reportedly stoned at Nasarawa area of the state capital as he made his way to the palace of the traditional ruler of Bauchi, Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu. The President’s billboards and posters had been pulled off across Bauchi a few hours to his arrival.
President Jonathan’s campaign train had been similarly attacked on Tuesday in Katsina, the home state of APC’s presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.).
That came after PDP campaign buses heading for Bauchi were ambushed in Jos, Plateau State, by APC youths and destroyed after the occupants were ordered out. Both Buhari and APC have dissociated themselves from the attacks, with Buhari specifically declaring that no one should insult or attack anyone on his behalf.
Reacting to Tuesday’s incident, the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide (IYC) had said in a statement by its spokesman Eric Omare: “We express our disappointment in Buhari for instigating his supporters to attack President Jonathan’s convoy in his home state of Katsina. Buhari has clearly…demonstrated his violent nature.
“It will be recalled that when Buhari came to the South-South to campaign, especially in Bayelsa State (Jonathan’s home state), Jonathan specifically instructed that everything should be done to ensure that Buhari’s campaign was not disrupted in any way in the zone.
“Hence, the IYC made several radio announcements and set up a team at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa, to ensure that the campaign was trouble-free.
“Now that Buhari’s supporters with his knowledge have decided to carry out consistent attacks on President Jonathan and his supporters, we wish to state clearly that we shall retaliate.”
•Photo of security men at the Bauchi rally courtesy of Anadolu Agency.
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