Bad Reception For Jonathan In Nasarawa
Young men and women lined major roads leading to the Emir of Lafia’s palace in Nasarawa state yesterday chanting “Sai Buhari” and carrying Congress of Progressive Change presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari posters. The youth also threw stones at the convoy of President Goodluck Jonathan as it passed by on its way to the state capital for the official flag-off of the presidential campaign, smashing a few windscreens in the process. The campaign entourage included the vice-president, Namadi Sambo, along with six governors from the North Central zone and other party candidates. Mr. Jonathan was accompanied along Doma Road to the palace by the governor of Nasarawa State, Aliyu Akwe Doma, to pay a visit to the traditional ruler, Isa Mustapha Agwai II.
The People’s Democratic Party spent several hours repairing damage caused by the anti-Jonathan/Sambo protesters to billboards of the president and his vice. The billboards had been defaced with paint, including another of Governor Doma, erected at strategic locations around the Lafia metropolis. When Mr. Jonathan’s convoy arrived in the town and made its way to the emir’s palace at about 2:30pm, the protesters blocked all major roads to the palace, hurling stones at the convoy. They screamed: “Nigeria, Sai Buhari, Nasarawa, Sai Al-Makura”, continually, overwhelming the efforts of security operatives including armed police officers stationed at strategic locations around the area.
State police commissioner, Wilfred Obute, refused to speak when our reporter called him for official comment. He said that he could not speak because he was in a meeting. Next observed that the police doubled the number of armed police officers and other security operatives along the way to Lafia Township Stadium, venue of the campaign flag-off. Supporters of party candidates were denied access to the venue of the campaign rally, a development which compelled the party to address a sparse crowd during the rally.