Yobe State All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign council has denied that supporters of Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, stoned the Governor of the State, Mai Buni, at a Yobe North Senatorial district zonal rally held in the state last week.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the event was disrupted after supporters of Mr Lawan threw objects on the podium when the governor rose to speak during the rally.
But despite the account of our reporter who was at the event and witnessed the disruption, the Director General of the APC Campaign Organization, Mohammed Hassan, told journalists in Damaturu, the capital of the state, that the report was false.
He said the rally was a success and wondered how the story of the stoning came about.
Mr Hassan who admitted that the size of the crowd could cause fracas maintained that “no incident of stoning the governor or any dignitary at the rally happened”
“I am here to address the press regarding yesterday’s event at Gashua which was the flag off of the APC campaign rally in the State. We chose Gashua as the first senatorial district to flag off the campaign. As you are aware, the senate president and the governor were there. We also had a guest in the person of the executive governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Inua Yahaya.
“Series of events took place and one of them was the commissioning of the Nguru Ultra-Modern Market, and thereafter we went to Gashau for the flag off the campaign. Unfortunately, the media was washed with what I will term fake news in the sense that the story of saying that some leaders of our party were stoned at the event.
“I want to categorically state that that was completely false. That did not happen. In fact, I personally made efforts to find out the source of such fake news and if there was, I would have expected to have seen the video clip especially now that social media dominates stories around the world. But I haven’t seen any. But of course, such fracas usually happens especially when you have a huge crowd like that of yesterday.
“I can tell you that, that turnout was unprecedented and people all over came to support the party, support the governor of Yobe and his activities and the senate president. Clearly what we saw yesterday was the governor not just going for the campaign but showcasing his projects and what he has done for the people.
“I can confirm to you and for those who were there that there was no stoning of any individual. There is nothing new in this game. You see supporters of the same candidate trying to show supremacy in terms of number. No political rally that is devoid of these kinds of things,” Mr. Hassan said.
He accused the opposition of having a hand in the incident that took place at Gashua.
“I want to tell you that, there is a hand of opposition in the matter and such fracas are normal in a political rally,” he said.
When asked why no dignitary spoke at the event, Mr Hassan said: “We were mindful of the time and the safety of everybody at that event. The huge crowd that graced the rally was unprecedented and we didn’t want to risk anybody’s life at that point. Even the people at the podium were too much and it was almost breaking down and so we had to quickly cut off the long speeches. It was also close to prayer time.”
Governor also denies attack
Also in a statement, the governor’s spokesman Mamman Mohamed, blamed the report of the stoning on “merchants of fake news.”
In the statement which was titled; “The Merchants of Fake News Have Failed” Mr Mohamed alleged that the governor hurriedly left the rally because the podium was going to collapse.
“We read with dismay Media reports making rounds that some party stalwarts were stoned at a rally in Gashua, Yobe state.
“We have found it necessary to respond to the false, alarming and precarious report to avoid misleading the general public.
“The rally witnessed a very large crowd ever seen in the political history of Gashua Town.
“The tumultuous crowd were out to welcome the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Governor Buni and members of the Campaign Council.
“Governor Buni walked freely through the crowd acknowledging cheers from the supporters as he walked to the podium.
“When it became obvious the podium was threatened to collapse with an overwhelming crowd, the Director General of the APC Campaign Council, Sen. Muhammad Hassan, stopped all speeches after the Senate President.
“He, therefore, ordered everyone to get down from the podium for safety before it collapses.
“The rally continued with dances and until all the dignitaries left, there was no breach of security and no one was attacked.
“It was gathered that much later when the Governor and members of the Campaign Council had departed Gashua, two supporting groups were engaged in disagreements with threats to each other but never degenerated to attack.
“The publishers of the fake news only engaged in a futile attempt to create an impression of a bad relationship between the people of Gashua and the APC government in Yobe state.
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