There was stampede at the Plateau State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP secretariat in Jos as former Vice President and Presidential Aspirant for the 2023 Elections, Atiku Abubakar walked journalists out of the secretariat.
Atiku’s security humiliated, manhandled and chased journalists out of the Hall where he was billed to address delegates at the Secretariat along Yakubu Gowon Way,opposite the NTA Jos.
Publishers,Social Media Influencers and Journalists were already seated at the PDP Secretariat by 11 am, the scheduled time for his arrival but the former vice-president did not arrive until around 2:30pm when his convoy cruised into the premises of the state Secretariat.
It was gathered that immediately the Presidential Aspirant entered the hall, alongside the State Party Chairman, Chris Adukuchili Hassan, members of his campaign team including Sen. Abdul Ningi, Raymond Dokpesi amongst many others noticed the setting and camera arrangement by the press in preparation for the coverage.
An eyewitness Yusuf Joana said the vice-president’s countenance changed to anger, fury and scorn.
As delegates were about taking their seats, Ningi, who is also the campaign Director-General of Atiku Campaign organization immediately stood up and asked journalists to leave.
While many were still in shock as to what could have prompted Ningi’s decision, Atiku took the mic himself and said, “pack your cameras and leave. I am not here to see journalists. I am here to see delegates, please leave now”.
According to Joana, “It appeared as if it was exactly what the security and his followers were waiting for as shown in a way and manner members of the press were manhandled by overzealous and uncouth security personnel leading to the damaging of a video camera belonging to Channels Television in addition to lost of expensive cell phones by many Media Executives on lawful business.
“Plateau State Council Secretary of the NUJ, Peter Amine had to ensure the immediate evacuation of every journalist from the premises of the party Secretariat in the face of threat, intimidation and provocation by Atiku’s supporters who accompanied him to Jos.
“An Atiku supporter, who appeared to be under the influence of drugs was overheard saying that it is Atiku’s resources that would make him the President of the country and not Media Executives and Journalists.
“Another source in Atiku’s campaign team confided in a stakeholder of the party that what Atiku did was a planned-out strategy to avoid being taken on his decision to delete his tweet condemning the killing of a 200 level student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Miss Deborah Yakubu after threats by some Islamic fundamentalists.
“Political analysts are of the view that Deborah’s death has revealed Atiku’s posture and his possible inability to handle our differences most especially religious,hence the diversionary tactics of avoiding Media probing of his real intentions.
“The doggedness and probing prowess of Plateau Publishers and Media Executives might have sent shivers to the Atiku trail,hence diversionary tactics, uncouth behaviour and assault on innocent members of the fourth estate of the realm” she said.