There was chaos at the Minna Trade Fair Complex this morning when the venue’s VIP sitting area carrying state governors, ministers and Pius Ayim Pius, collapsed during a political rally organized by the Transformation Ambassador of Nigeria [TAN] to campaign for the reelection of President Goodluck Jonathan. The venue was packed to the brim when the VIP platform suddenly caved in, trapping a few of those already seated.When this happened, the sound was so loud that many thought it was a bomb, thereby leading to panic.
PREMIUM TIMES later learnt that a number of people, including top government officials, were injured and rushed to hospital. When the exodus from the venue threatened to truncate the rally, the host governor, Babangida Aliyu, rushed to the microphone to appeal to the crowd not to leave as the situation had been brought under control.
The Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory, Gabriel Aduda, also rushed to the stage to blame the incidence on the devil and opponents of Mr. Jonathan’s administration. Mr. Aduda said,
“Whatever happened here, the devil is a liar. No weapon fashioned against us and Jonathan shall succeed. What happened was because the crowd was too much.”
After a short break, the rally however continued after an alternative seating area was found for important dignitaries. Speaking at the event, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said the rally was organized to celebrate Mr. Jonathan, who he described as one of Nigeria’s best presidents. Mr. Maku said it was only after he completes another four-year tenure that the presidency would switch back to the North of Nigeria. He said his home state, Nasarawa, would give Mr. Jonathan 95 per cent of its votes in the 2015 presidential election.
TAN has been staging rallies across the country in support of Mr. Jonathan’s reelection bid despite the president personally advising political, religious and other groups to desist from convening large gathering as a way of curtailing the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease. President Jonathan has declined to halt the rallies despite widespread calls on him to do so.