Former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Monday walked journalists out from covering his meeting with delegates at the Plateau State secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jos.
Atiku, who arrived the secretariat at about 2.19pm, was visibly angry and ordered the reporters out of the hall, saying: “I have nothing to do with journalists. I’m here to see delegates.”
His aides and security details immediately pounced on the journalists, causing a stampede and damaging the tripod and camera of the Channels Television crew in the process.
This is the first time a presidential aspirant visiting the state will take such a definite stand against the coverage of such magnitude of event by journalists.
Not even the host, PDP officials and delegates, could calm the fury of their visitor and his entourage, and make a case for the journalists, who had covered such visits in the same secretariat by other presidential contenders in the past three weeks.
Bewildered party supporters at the scene could not help but wonder aloud why the former vice-president put up such a disappointing attitude at such a critical time in the party’s preparation for the 2023 general election.
No one was sure of what really angered the presidential aspirant.
Atiku’s burden of trust, depleted public perception and unfavourable national mood got worse recently after Muslim students of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, murdered their Christian colleague, Deborah Samuel, in cold blood over an alleged blasphemous statement.
After claiming to have condemned the savage murder of Deborah, Atiku quickly deleted his Twitter and Facebook statements to pitch tent with his Muslim folk, who had threatened him.
In the aftermath of condemnation from across the country, Atiku recently explained away his action, saying he pulled down the comment because the tweet did not get his permission before it was put up.