Five persons were feared dead and many injured as President Muhammadu Buhari campaigned in Jalingo, Taraba State yesterday. The deaths have been attributed to the stampede caused by the unruly behaviour of armed political thugs who virtually took over the venue of the event.

Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku’s convoy was also reportedly attacked on its way out of the Danbaba Suntai Airport after he escorted Buhari at the end of the campaign rally.

Bala Dan Abu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Governor Darius Ishaku, confirmed the incident.

He said: “The deputy governor’s car and several other cars in the convoy, including that of the commissioner of police and a special adviser to the governor, were damaged.

“The thugs, most of whom were imported from neighbouring states to create the false impression that APC enjoys a large following in the state, came heavily armed.

“They carried guns, cutlasses and sticks, which they displayed openly and in the full glare of security agents who merely looked the other way.”

“They were given cover by the security agencies who fired gunshots to scare away those who may dare to confront them.

“What happened today is a big contrast to the PDP presidential flag-off of February 5 in Jalingo, which attracted a large crowd but recorded no incidence of crisis and deaths.

“Residents of Wukari are still leaking the wounds of the APC violent visitation of January 29, during which PDP posters and bill boards were torn and a member of the PDP killed.

“The Taraba State government will no longer fold its arms while innocent people are being killed and maimed,” he said.