Clash: How minister, journalists, others escaped death
But for the rapid response of security personnel, the violent clash in Dei-Dei building materials market between suspected supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would have witness more casualties, eyewitnesses say.
The clash happened on Saturday when vehicles in the convoy of FCT minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Malam Bashir Mai-Borno, was attacked.
Though, no life was lost, supporters sustained various degrees of injuries.
Trouble started when the convoy of the minister was blocked by some hoodlums claiming to be supporters of the PDP, who were chanting the name of the vice presidential candidate of the party and displaying the posters of Atiku/Obi and other candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The development angered supporters of the APC who insisted that the PDP supporters must pave way for the convoy of the minister to pass through.
In a split second, the altercation has led to a violent clash as vehicles and property worth millions of naira were destroyed before the intervention of the police who shot sporadically into the air to disperse the crowd.
Our correspondent also gathered that some journalists attached to the minister's convoy narrowly escaped death, as the vehicle belonging to minister's press corps was badly damaged.
However, there are palpable fear that there might be reprisal attack as both group are strategizing for coordinated attacks, as over eight vehicles were burnt during the political clash.
Earlier, the campaign train was at the palace of the traditional ruler of Esu Karshi and Sa'Payi of Garki to seek the blessings of the paramount rulers for candidates of the APC.
The APC in the Federal Capital Territory has kicked against the attack on the campaign train by suspected political thugs.
Director General of the APC campaign organisation in FCT, Alhj. Musa Muhammad, who spoke to our correspondent shortly after the attack accused supporters of the opposition party of a premeditated attack on the convoy of the FCT minister.
He therefore called on the PDP to caution its supporters to be more responsive ahead of 2019 general elections, stressing that the attack was a pointer to the fact that the party is fearing imminent defeat.
Muhammad also called on the go to the poll.
Speaking on the development, FCT police spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, said the command was still investigating the incident, therefore, cannot give details on the matter.
He, however, hinted that the command was making progress in its investigation and will brief the press on how far it has gone within the week.
“I cannot tell you exactly how far we have gone in terms of arrest or identifying those behind the clash because investigation is still ongoing. But I want to assure residents that the commissioner is on top of the matter and will brief the press within the week,” Manzah said.