UPDATED: One shot, police vehicle burnt as violence mars PDP rally

Violence at PDP Jigawa rally.
Violence at PDP Jigawa rally.

A rally organised by the Peoples Democratic Party in Jigawa State turned violent on Thursday.

The rally was held in Gwaram Local Government Area and attended by thousands of PDP supporters, including a former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido.

The violence is believed to have started when a police officer, trying to maintain peace, shot one of the participants.

An initial report suggested the victim died but our reporter later determined that he survived the shooting and is receiving treatment at Gwaram Hospital.

A mob at the rally then turned on the police officers at the rally, burning down a police vehicle.

What led to the shooting remained unclear at the time of filing this report.

Mr Lamido, who was on the podium at the time of the incident, called for calm saying, “Don’t tamper with the vehicle, it’s my vehicle”.

But the angry mob failed to listen. They set the vehicle ablaze.

The incident forced Mr Lamido to step down from the podium to address the youth who had started targeting police officers at the event.

The Jigawa State police command had last week barred the PDP from campaigning at a market in Gumel Local Government Area.

Police Commissioner Bala Senchi had said using the venue on a market day could create panic and other security challenges for the state.

That did not go down well with the PDP in the state which described the police as unfair to the opposition in Jigawa. Babandi Gumel, the PDP deputy chairman in the state, accused the police commissioner of bias.

The Thursday event in Gwaram was meant to present PDP candidates from Jigawa North-central, which consists of seven local government councils.

The violence started just as a party chieftain, Isa Ahmed, was presenting candidates for the state House of Assembly.

Another party leader was billed to present candidates for the House of Representatives but the event was disrupted after the shooting, with dignitaries hurrying down from the podium in desperate moves to calm angry party members.

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Former Governor Lamido trekked for several kilometres pacifying rampaging youth.

When contacted, the Jigawa police spokesperson, Audu Jinjiri, said he was yet to be brief on the incident.

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