The All Progressives Congress (APC) said on Thursday that it was deeply pained by the death of some of its supporters at its Next Level campaign rally in Taraba for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It was gathered that the incident was caused by a stampede at the Jolly Nyame Stadium in Jalingo, venue of the rally.
Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC National Publicity Secretary, made this known in a statement in Abuja.
Our party is deeply pained by this painful loss. We pray for the dearly departed and express our deep condolences to their family members, loved ones and the good people of Taraba,” he said.
No fewer than five persons were on Thursday reported killed during the presidential rally.
The Presidency, however, confirmed the death of two persons at the rally addressed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to available information, the convoys of the state Governor, Darius Ishaku, and his Deputy, Haruna Manu, who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party, were attacked by hoodlums alleged to be sympathetic to the APC, after they saw off President Buhari at the Danbaba Suntai Airport.
The posters of the Governor and those of the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, were equally torn.
Also attacked by the hoodlums was the convoy of the Commissioner of Police in the State and other Taraba State Government officials, including a Special Adviser to Ishaku.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Governor Ishaku, Bala Dan Abu, told newsmen: “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.”