President Muhammed Buhari was on Monday embarrassed when aggrieved party members threw objects at a podium he and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were standing during his Ogun State rally in Abeokuta with stones and sachet water.
The ugly development occurred at the Moshood Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta shortly after Governor Ibikunle Amosun handed over the microphone to the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, to address the crowd.
Earlier before the arrival of Mr Buhari and the APC chieftains, a fracas had broken out between supporters of the APC and those of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM). The police arrested some of the troublemakers with various dangerous weapons and charms in their possession.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Amosun reiterated his decision to work for the reelection of Mr Buhari but not to work for the party’s governorship candidate, Dapo Abiodun. He directed his supporters to follow suit.
“Come Saturday, let us go out to vote for President Buhari and on March 2, let us look elsewhere. I hope you understand me and get my message. And let it be known to you all, after the March 2 poll, we shall all become APC again,’ Mr Amosun said.
Mr Amosun is leading a rebellion in the state against the leadership of the APC for rejecting his nomination of Adekunle Akinlade as the APC governorship candidate. Mr Akinlade has moved over to pick the flag of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) for the election on March 2.
At the rally, Mr Amosun allegedly ordered the gate to be thrown open for all party members to attend the ceremony and the 35,000 capacity stadium was filled to the brim.
As Mr Oshihomole commenced his speech, the thugs started hurling missiles at the podium to disrupt the programme.
The event was temporarily brought to a halt, with Mr Amosun begging the unruly party members to desist from the bad behaviour.
“Please in the name of God, it is enough, don’t disgrace me, God will not destroy your work, please don’t destroy my work,” the governor hollered in vain.
The development forced dignitaries to flee the podium. Those who left include former governors Bola Tinubu, Olusegun Osoba and Bisi Akande; and Governors Rotimi Akeredolu, Kayode Fayemi and Akinwunmi Ambode of Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos respectively.
Before the attack on party chieftains, former governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, cautioned those he described as hypocrites against “staying indoor and fighting the home from outside.”
After a brief peace return, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo spoke about the agenda of the APC for the second term. He called on party supporters and the electorate to return the party at all levels.
Mr Oshiomole handed over the party’s flag to Dapo Abiodun, who is the party’s governorship candidate, while President Buhari also raised the hand of Mr Abiodun before the crowd.
While Mr Buhari was raising Mr Abiodun’s hand, the crowd shouted ‘No, No’ and hurled objects at the president and the governorship candidate.
It took the intervention of the security operatives who shielded the president and ensured he was not hurt by the missiles.