Hoodlums attack minister during Taraba bye-elections

taraba election violence

Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, on Saturday, escaped as suspected thugs attacked her convoy in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State, shattering two windscreens of her vehicles.

The minister was in Takum to monitor the state House of Assembly bye-election meant to seek who would replace late Mr. Hosea Ibi who was kidnapped and later killed early this year.

The minister, who alleged that the hoodlums were brought in by the state government to cause confusion as the All Progressives Congress (APC) was coasting to victory, said that no one was hurt in the attack, but that the only damage was to the two cars that were conveying the state chairman of the party, Mr. Abdulmumini Vakki and herself.

The minister claimed that she got wind of plans by the state government to bring in thugs and had informed the Commissioner of Police in the state who promised to make sure that adequate care was taken to forestall any breach of security.

She described the attack on her as a ‘frustrated attempt’ by the state government as a result of the rousing welcome she received in the governor’s home town and the related rejection that the governor is having to put up with from his people.

She said, “My convoy was attacked by thugs hired by the Taraba state government.

“These thugs were brought in from Wukari, Bali and Jalingo just to cause confusion when the governor saw clearly that his people had rejected him in his own home town and have given me and my people a rousing welcome and continue to cheer us wherever we went.

“My joy is that, even though there was a large crowd there cheering us, nobody was hurt, even though they shattered the rear glasses of two of my vehicles.

“More so, this was an attacked by aliens because the people on ground here have shown overwhelming support for the APC, but the state governor has been openly disgraced by his own people, in his own town,” she said.

Commissioner of Police in the state, CP David Akinremi, had earlier confirmed that “the election was relatively peaceful and fantastic, despite pockets of hiccups that have been promptly addressed.

However, in a swift reaction, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Darius Ishaku, Mr. Bala Dan Abu, said that the “allegations by the minister of women affairs was malicious, unfounded, ill-informed and unnecessary”.

Dan Abu said that the governor was a democrat who believes in election as the vehicle for political recruitment and would not stoop so low as to recruit hoodlums to attack the minister for any reason as he already has overwhelming victory and in his home town and sees the minister as a sister.

“The governor sees the minister as a sister and does not have to resort to violence at all, which is not in his character anyway, as he was guaranteed of overwhelming victory.

“Mind you that this is the governor’s home town and you don’t expect any other party to hold sway here”, the governor’s aide said.

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