By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja – Violence erupted at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Secretariat on Thursday as supporters of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who accompanied him to submit his presidential nomination form, clashed with some thugs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Abubakar’s supporters arrived at the secretariat at about 9 a.m., drumming and dancing while waiting for him.
The aspirant arrived at about noon, and while submitting his nomination form inside the party secretariat, pandemonium erupted as some persons suspected to be political thugs attacked his supporters.
The development caused chaos as people scampered for safety, causing stampede at the secretariat main entrance as the supporters, especially women tried to rush into the premises.
The situation was, however, brought under control following the intervention of policemen who promptly fired gunshots into the air to dispel the thugs.
No arrest was made as the hoodlums escaped through different routes, and it was not immediately ascertained if injuries were sustained in the fracas.
Meanwhile, Abubakar said that he is seeking Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket to make Nigeria ‘work’.
His media office said he made the statement after submitting his nomination form at PDP’s National Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday.
Abubakar said that he was saddened by the fact that 11 million Nigerians, excluding “the millions more who never had a job since leaving school’’, had become unemployed since May 29, 2015.
He, however, said that he had created thousands of jobs in his private businesses and knew how to lead a government that would do the same for Nigeria.
“It weighs deeply on my heart that Nigeria has become the world headquarters for extreme poverty according to the World Economic Forum and the World Poverty Clock.
“I am not happy that there are so much killings and terror across the country that the Global Terrorism Index rates Nigeria as more terrorised today than she was in 2015.
“I am not happy that Nigeria is perceived to be more corrupt today than she was in 2015 having moved 12 steps backwards, from 136 in 2014 to 148 today, in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.
“136 is bad enough; 148 is simply unacceptable and shameful, especially under a government that claims that fighting corruption is its priority,” said Abubakar, who himself had been accused by his former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo of being corrupt.
Abubakar called on all PDP delegates and all Nigerians to join him at the struggle to make Nigeria work again.
“Let us work together to create the right conditions for investments to flow in and flourish to create jobs for our people. Let’s work together to send poverty packing.
“Let us, together, reduce corruption so that our resources will be deployed to our national priorities. Let us work together to fight all types of terrorism and other crimes.
“Let’s work together to restructure Nigeria for better governance and to unite our peoples. Let’s get Nigeria working again,” he said.