At least nine people died in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital on Monday in two separate events related to the campaign rally of Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), The Cable reports.
The state government had declared a public holiday and restricted vehicular movements for security reasons.
The report said members of the civilian JTF, a local vigilante outfit, who mounted security checks across strategic locations in the state, intercepted two trucks along the airport road.
The driver of one of the trucks, which were escorted by soldiers, told the vigilante group that the vehicles contained charcoals and should not be searched. After heated argument, the group succeeded in searching the vehicle and discovered that it was loaded with ammunition.
“Immediately the fellow who saw the arms tried to raise alarm, the soldiers opened fire and five people were killed in the process,” he said. “The soldiers escaped with the trucks because people ran helter skelter during the incident.” The incident affected Buhari, as his convoy had to be delayed for 45 minutes because the scene of the event was the only route linking Ramat Square, venue of the rally from the airport.
The venue of the rally turned out being rowdy, as the crowd became uncontrollable. Apart from notable members of the party in Borno state, members of the campaign team such as Rotimi Amaechi, governor of Rivers state; Abike Dabiri, a serving legislator in the house of representatives who has anchored the rally in different parts of the country; John Oyegun, chairman of APC, were not seen at Ramat Square. Buhari only spent about 10 minutes before he was escorted out by security operatives.
However, he succeeded in presenting the flag of the party to Kashim Shettima, the governor, who is seeking re-election in the April 11 election. At the venue of the rally itself, four people died in a stampede that occurred when the crowd went unruly and forcefully opened all four entry points to the square open, which had been closed by security agents.
A witness who attended the rally, said he saw “four dead bodies” being carried away after the stampede.
Source: The Cable