Minna – After initial denials, Niger State government has officially confirmed the attack on Alhaji Abubarkar Sani Bello, the state governor, during his sympathy visit to victims of fire disaster that razed the Etsu Musa Market in Bida but was quick to add, “Though the governor was attacked, the incident was blown out of proportion.”
The governor’s convoy, according to our SATURDAY INDEPENDENT Front Page Report, was attacked by irate youths who had raised a number of allegations against Governor Bello including his penchant for overseas trips under the guise of scouting for investors and poor performance, less than two years to the end of first tenure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
But Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace, the Chief Press Secretary to the state Governor, who could not confirm the story before publication because ‘he was on assignment’ had called our state correspondent shortly after the news went viral Saturday morning, denying the attack.
The Chief Press Secretary in discrediting the Correspondent and her report had said, “There was no attack on the Governor’s convoy. I am talking to you because the report puts your credibility and the credibility of your media, Independent Newspaper, to question.”
But barely 24 hours after Ndace’s outburst, Alhaji Danjuma Salau, Niger State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, issued a statement describing the attack on the governor as very unfortunate misbehaviour by some misguided youth during the governor’s visit.
“The misbehaviour exhibited by some misguided, ill-informed, financially induced, politically motivated miscreants is at variance with what Bida people are known for. Bida people are known for peace, respect for elders and constituted authority,” he said.
Salau further said, “It is clear that the motive of the sponsor, or sponsors of those miscreants was to embarrass the Governor, other political office holders as well as His Royal Highness, Etsu Nupe and more importantly diminish the success of the visit to Bida.”
Ndace’s denial of the attack which made the police escorts fire shots in the air to scare the intruders was also against the Chieftain of the APC from zone ‘A’, Engineer Mohammed Daban, who came out to condemn the attack, describing the attackers as misguided elements.
Engineer Daban, one of the leaders of thought from the Nupe speaking zone of the state described the behaviour of the youth as ‘unfortunate, unbecoming and disrespectful to the traditional stool of Bida emirate.’
The governor’s visit, according to Daban, was to show sympathy to victims of the fire outbreak that razed the entire market and to show his love for the people of Bida and therefore wondered why miscreants, misguided elements and troublemakers turned the sympathy visit to vent their anger on him.
Daban, a traditional title holder of the Bida emirate, further lampooned the youths accusing them of being cannon fodders and willing tools in the hands of disgruntled persons as he tendered unreserved apology to both Governor Bello and the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubarkar, on behalf of the band of the youths.
As the round of sympathy visits over the attack that was denied by the Chief Press Secretary, Jibrin Ndace continued, another group from the area, Bida APC youths led by, Alhaji Saidu Salihu Ndagi (Briscoe) also paid solidarity cum apology visit to Governor Bello on Tuesday.
Besides personal and group visits to assuage the governor over the report that was denied by his Chief Press Secretary, one of the youths who would not want his names on print because he was not authorized to speak on the issue told our correspondent in confidence that there were plans for more similar visits from the zone.
Source: New feed