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GEJ stoned again in Taraba



President Goodluck Jonathan’s convoy was again stoned on Thursday by some aggrieved youths in Jalingo, Taraba State.

Jonathan was in the city in continuation of the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential rally.

His convoy had before Thursday been stoned in Katsina and Bauchi states when he went to seek the votes for his re-election bid.

It was gathered that the windscreens and windows of some of the vehicles on the convoy were destroyed before security operatives used tear gas and horsewhips to disperse the youths.

Those who witnessed the Thursday incident but pleaded anonymity told The PUNCH that the incident occurred when the President’s convoy was going to the palace of the Emir of Muri, Abass Tafida, from the airport.

One of them said, “Security agents ensured that people were moved very far from the main but at a point, the convoy got to a particular village where the youths became restive.

“Before we knew what was happening, they started stoning the convoy.”

It however could not be determined as of press time if anyone in the convoy was hurt or any arrests made.

One of our correspondents learnt that Jonathan, who was unruffled by the incident, used the opportunity of his visit to the state to meet with ailing Governor Danbaba Suntai.

Suntai has been unable to return to work since he was involved in a plane crash in October 2012.

Report revealed that Jonathan met with Suntai inside the Government House, Jalingo.

But while Jonathan was busy campaigning, another set of angry youths descended on the state PDP secretariat in Jalingo.

It took the intervention of security agents to save the edifice from being reduced to rubble by the angry youths who vandalised 12 vehicles on the premises.

The spokesman for the PDP in the state, Napoleon Adamu,who lamented the incident, said the youths were protesting their non-inclusion in the preparation for Jonathan’s visit.

He expressed anger that despite the Abuja accord signed by all the presidential candidates , some elements could still go as far as attacking members of the party.

He said, “We are happy that no life was lost and we want to appeal to our teeming youths to eschew violence and not to take the law into their own hands.

“Even before the date the President’s campaign was fixed, the youths had been complaining that they were not carried along by the committees constituted for the visit.”

At the state stadium campaign ground, Jonathan said he would ensure the completion of both the Kashimbila Dam and the Mambilla Hydro Power projects in the state if re-elected.

He added that plans were on to establish a presidential resort at Mambilla to attract top government functionaries and business moguls to the state.

Jonathan later moved to Yola, Adamawa State, where he again assured the people that Michika and Madagali Local government Areas would be recaptured by the military from Boko Haram.

Jonathan told the crowd that his administration would provide funds to enable those affected by insurgency to rebuild their houses and live a meaningful life.

Making inferences about insinuations in certain quarters that he was going about seeking re-election when Boko Haram was intensifying its attacks on parts of the North-East, the President urged the people to disregard such.

“No human being with his right senses, except a mad man, will encourage the insurgents to attack and kill people for political purposes while he is going about looking for votes,” Jonathan said at the Mahmud Ribadu Square venue of the rally.

“No political leader will compromise his stance and connive with terrorists under whatever circumstances to declare war on his country,” he added.

Calling on the electorate to have confidence in the leadership of the PDP for accelerated development, Jonathan warned Nigerians against playing politics with insecurity.

He said that his administration was “disturbed by the insurgents’ activities” and added that it was mad for political opponents to claim that he was not doing much to end the insurgency which, according to him, is a global phenomenon.

“This type of allegation from politicians who campaign to garner votes from the electorate amounts to madness. People should disregard such insinuations because they are aimed at derailing our democracy,” Jonathan added.

He advised the people to also vote for the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Nuhu Ribadu, whom, he said, would use his position to fight Boko Haram.

A PDP topshot and a former Petroleum Minister, Prof. Jibril Aminu; former acting Governor Umaru Fintiri; and the Senate President, David Mark, jointly called on the electorate to vote for Jonathan.

They said the best legacy the President and the government of PDP could leave behind was a good educational standard for the people.

The National Chairman of the party, Adamu Mu’azu, after thanking the people, presented the PDP flag to Ribadu.

He also lifted the suspension of a former National Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, and the state executive of the PDP .

A little drama however happened when overzealous security agents on horseback thrashed some of the party supporters. This made some of the party loyalists to react back by hauling chairs at the security operatives.

Punch, January 30, 2015

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