On Friday some gunmen launched an attack and disrupted the campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Gbajimba, the headquarters of Guma Local Government Area, Benue state killing party supporters and injuring scores. The attack which lasted saw party faithfuls scamper for safety in order to prevent been killed according to QUEENDOOSH SOURCES.
Shortly after the attack, some APC party chieftains mounted a press conference to address the issue and to also call on security operatives to act fast.
Addressing journalists in Makurdi, Prof Eugene Aliegba, a member of the Emmanuel Jime/Sam Ode Campaign Organisation, alleged that the hoodlums fired gun shots at the crowd before they were chased away, NAN reports.
He said the attack happened when the Director-General of the campaign team, Sen Jack Tilley-Gyado, the governorship candidate, Mr Emmanuel Jime and other members of the campaign team were holding discussions with traditional rulers at another location.
”It is our tradition that wherever we went, we address the traditional rulers and other interest groups.
“So the rally was already started when we got the information that thugs stormed the venue, shot and dispersed the crowd.
”We are not sure of casualty details yet, we are awaiting details,” he said.
As the briefing progressed, a chieftain of the party in the state, Mr Mike Iordye, who claimed to have survived the attack, interjected by alleging that the hoodlums who attacked the crowd, started by throwing stones before resorting to live bullets.
He said he had information that his warehouse and petrol service station were also set ablaze and appealed to the police to disclose the actual casualty level. This claim could not be verified.
”Gbajimba is not just another local government area, it is the home town of the sitting governor of the state,” he said.
Another chieftain of the party, Reps Dickson Tarkighir, representing Makurdi/Guma Federal Constituency, however, assured that ”nothing will stop us from campaigning in Gbajimba. Just be calm.”
He wondered why the parties had so quickly abandoned the peace pact which they signed to guarantee violence free polls.
Tarkighir called on the Inspector- General of Police (I-G) to promptly intervene to ensure peaceful electioneering and elections in the state.
He claimed that some of the victims of the campaign-rally attack, brought to the Benue State Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), were turned back.
Meanwhile, our sources who called at the time of filling this report claims that at least five person have been confirmed dead.