Crowd disrupts apc presidential rally in Plateau, take over campaign podium
The Plateau State presidential rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was hijacked on, Saturday, by supporters who thronged the Rwang Pam Stadium venue of the rally, leaving President Muhammadu Buhari to simply wave at the crowd and leave the stadium.
Security men deployed to maintain law and order at the stadium had a hectic time controlling the crowd which had positioned themselves at the stadium since 9 a.m. before the arrival of the APC presidential candidate at about 4.20 p.m. along with other party stalwarts and party functionaries.
The arrival of the president had further compounded the security situation, as there was a sudden surge of people who wanted to catch a glimpse of the candidate.
Meanwhile, as the president was navigating his way to the VIP stand with the aid of security men, the unruly supporters took over the podium mounted for him to address the crowd, thereby forcing the presidential candidate to simply wave the crowd from the VIP stand without making any speech.
Sunday Tribune gathered that as a result of the surge, electrical cables and other electrical appliances were destroyed and disconnected, making communication difficult.
As the crowd overwhelmed the security men on ground, Buhari; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Director-General of the Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Amechi; the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; Governor Simon Lalong, left the venue of the event without no sooner than they came.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reported that efforts by Amaechi and the ITF Director-General, Joe Ari, to convince the crowd to make space for the president to address the crowd were not successful.
Mr Terna Tyopev, spokesperson of the Police Command in Plateau, had earlier said that 2,050 police personnel had been deployed to ensure a hitch-free event.
The security men, however, appeared helpless as the crowd appeared not ready to listen to the pleas to be orderly.
Prof. Soni Tyoden, Chairman of the campaign Committee, who is also the Deputy Governor of Plateau, said that the large turnout was a positive development.
“Those outside are more than those in stadium; the security agencies are struggling to ensure that everyone is safe,” he said.
On arrival, President Buhari had visited the chairman of the Plateau State Joint Traditional Council and Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Gyang Buba, in his palace.