Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
One person has been confirmed dead and others injured after a failed attempt by persons suspected to be factional members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), attacked Sen. Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, in Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, ASP David Misal, who confirmed the incident in a phone interview with our correspondent, in Jalingo, said the senator was addressing party loyalists in Bali when a mob attacked the venue and attempted to lynch him before security persons on ground whisked him away.
Misal said that in the ensuing confusion, a member of the vigilance group, who was on ground was shot by an unknown persons and he died immediately.
According to the police image maker, “Yesterday, Senator Yusuf A. Yusuf was addressing party members in Bali when a mob stormed the area and if it were not for the timely intervention of the security, he could have been lynched.
“Fortunately, our men were able to whisk him away to safety. Unfortunately, in the course of this chaos, one of the vigilante personnel was shot by a stray bullet and he died instantly.
“We are working to find out who were behind the attack and very soon, we would be able to give you more update.
“In the meantime, the Commissioner of police CP David Akinremi has warned political parties and politicians to be very careful in going about their activities so that they would not result in the breakdown of law and order.
“The command cannot sit back and watch people take to lawlessness in the name of politics. The safety of every citizen of this state is of paramount concern to us and we would not sacrifice it on any alter or for any reason.
“Let me also warn youths who are making themselves available for use as thugs to desist as the command would not hesitate to take decisive actions against anyone who violates the law,” Misal said.
Efforts to get Sen. Yusuf to react to the attack were in vain as he did not pick his call and did not reply to text messages sent to him.
However, one of his aides, Alhaji Jameel, told our correspondent that the attack was believed to have been carried out by party members loyal to Sen. Aisha Alhassan in protest against the inauguration of Alhaji Ibrahim el-Sudi as the new state chairman of the party.
Jameel said that thugs loyal to the Sen. Alhassan group had earlier tried to attack Sen. Yusuf, in Jalingo, on Friday, and hurt one of his aides instead when they could not get to him.
In the words of Jameel, “The Aisha Alhassan group tried to attack the senator who is the leader of the APC in the state since he identifies with the unity group.
“They failed in the attack but smashed some of his cars and injured one of his aides.
“On Saturday, the senator and other party officials went to Bali to inaugurate the zonal officials for central zone and was they mobilised again attacked him.
“One of his aides was injured with a horn and several others beaten up but the security intervened in time to stop the mayhem. The senator is safe as he escaped unhurt”, he said.
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Sen. Alhassan did not pick her calls and so has not reacted to the allegations as at the time of this report.
Meanwhile, Governor Darius Ishaku has described the violent clashes between the APC rival groups in the state as the ‘height of indiscipline’ and a dangerous signal ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Governor Ishaku called on political parties and politicians to eschew violence and any act that is capable of causing public disorder to desist from such as the state government would not sit back and watch people take the law into their own hands causing a breakdown of law and order in any part of the state.