Policemen and other security agents in the Federal Capital Territory had a hectic period controlling the large number of persons that followed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to the Headquarters of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to submit his presidential nomination forms.
The forms are to enable him contest the party’s presidential primary slated for October 6 in Abuja.
The large turnout of his supporters led to disorderliness among them, which made policemen to shoot repeatedly into the air to disperse the unruly crowd.
Signs that the national headquarters of the party would witness a large turnout of Atiku’s supporters started emanating as early as 8.55am, when his supporters were seen with different banners and drums.
Singing and dancing, the supporters also carried different banners, posters with Atiku’s pictures.
The former Vice-President later arrived in company with his branded campaign cars at the party’s secretariat some minutes past noon.
Suddenly, some of the supporters were sighted running around the secretariat chasing a few others with cudgels, a development that led to a stampede at the secretariat gate.
Witnesses said the fight started when some political thugs believed to have come around with flags and tags of a rival political party were noticed around the PDP secretariat.
Attempts by some supporters of Atiku to engage those with the rival political party flag led to violent reaction and resistance.
This led to a serious fight in which dangerous weapons were freely used.
The fight, which spread to adjourning streets in the area, led to the beating of a man believed to be a fan of the former vice president.
The early intervention of policemen, who fired several gunshots into the air to disperse the unruly crowd, saved the situation from degenerating.
A witness identified as Umaru Saidu who is also a supporter of the Presidential aspirant told journalists that, “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, said 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.”
Attempts by policemen to restore order worsened the already tense situation.
Worried at the degenerating situation, the policemen fired gunshots into the air, an action that further caused further stampede among the supporters.
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