The police and other security operatives on Saturday chased out pro-Buhari supporters at the Kaduna rally for the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan.
The main bowl of the 30,000-capacity Ahmadu Bello Stadium, the venue of the rally, was half-filled. It was the last in the series of North-West rallies scheduled for President Jonathan’s re-election bid.
When the state Governor, Mukhtar Yero, mounted the podium to read his welcome address, as soon as he shouted ‘PDP,’ a large section of the crowd chorused ‘Sai (only) Buhari.’
Also, when the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, shouted ‘Sai Nigeria,’ the crowd responded, ‘Sai Buhari.’
All the personalities that spoke at the rally were greeted with the ‘Sai Buhari’ slogan.
In reaction to the development, security operatives, including combat-ready policemen descended on the crowd in an attempt to chase them out.
As the police kept chasing the pro-Buhari supporters out of the stadium, they kept chanting, ‘Sai Buhari’ intermittently.
They also tore several posters of President Jonathan and his deputy in the stadium.
Not done, the youth outside the stadium reportedly threw pebbles on the convoy of the president after the president had left the stadium at about 3:00pm.
A visibly angry Deputy Governor of the state, Nuhu Bajoga, was spotted by our correspondent at the rally, reprimanding members of the local organising committee at the main bowl of the stadium and asking the committee to “go and bring more people.”
It was gathered that the money for the supporters were allegedly diverted by some officials of the local organising committee.
Reacting to the development, APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lai Mohammed said, “It shows the popularity of Gen. Buhari. It shows that he is unstoppable.
“Chasing his supporters out of the stadium does not help the President or the PDP. It worsens their case.”
The Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibril, however dismissed insinuations of the non-acceptability of President Jonathan in northern states.
Jibril said it was the “quality of the crowd that matters and not hiring of miscreants.”
In his speech, President Jonathan said Kaduna was one of the major beneficiaries of Federal Government policies.
He urged the people of the state to re-elect him in the Febuary 14 election.
He said the state was the focus of the central government in the next four years if elected.
He also promised to revamp the collasped textile mills in the state to create jobs for the teeming youths in the state.
Vice President Sambo had earlier in his speech said the people of the state were highly elated with the President for his choice as running mate in the February polls.
He described Jonathan as patriotic and detribalised and therefore urged the people of the state to vote the party in all the elections.
The Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero in his welcome address said the state was the stronghold of the party since 1999 and would remain as such.
He thanked the President for transforming the state, especially, the establishment of fast rail service from Abuja to the state to ease transportation problems and the establishment of 30KWT power plant in the state.