VIPs Injured As Jonathan Rally Podium Crashes In Minna


BEVERLY HILLS, September 13, (THEWILL) - Many supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan's supporters were injured Saturday in Minna, the Niger State capital, as the podium for the North Central Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) rally in the town crashed .

The rally which held at the Trade fair complex in the Niger State capital, was initially billed to start at 10am but started a little after the scheduled time. Trouble started around 11.53am when the State chairman of the Nigeria Assosiation of the Blind was reading his speech as the steel stand housing the important dignatories crashed suddenly.

Amid the confusion, many members of TAN were injured as they scamper for safety with some of the guests falling into the bottom of the stand and had to be rescued.

Local sources disclosed that the podium crashed as the erection was done in a hurry.

Most of the dignitaries were ferried away from the stand and site of the accident to safety while those injured were taken to Bay Hospital in Tunga area of Minna while some were taken to the General Hospital.

The rally however continued after an hour as it was disclosed that State Government spent a whopping N10 million to put up the steel stand.

Speaking at the rally, the Niger state Governor Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, said the incident should be seen as a sacrifice and a sign of success of the rally. He added that it was the number of people on the stand that made the stand cave in.

In his remarks, the Secretary to the Governement of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, said he was in Minna to collect the signatures of those who are calling on President Jonathan to run for the Presidency in 2015.

He said the North Central has collected 1.1million signatures, disclosing that Niger State has the highest with 310,767 signatures; Plateau 308,630, Benue 103,694, FCT 101,377, Kogi 100,948, Kwara 101,060 and Nassarawa 100,429.

The TAN rally was attended by Anyim Pius Anyim, Deputy Governor of Kogi state Arc. Yomi Awoniyi, Deputy governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Mukhtar Shehu Shagari, Deputy Governor of Benue State, Steven Lawani, Minister for state for Agriculture, Asabe Ahmed, Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe and Minister of State for FCT Mrs. Jumoke Akinjide.

Others included Senator Barnabas Germade, Senator elect Niger East, Senator Shem Nuhu Zagbayi, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, Senator Zainab Kure, Jerry Gana, Minister for Information, Labaran Makun, Mrs. Bola Shagaya, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees members, Secretary National Primary Health care Dr. Ado Mohammed, commissioners from North Central States, former minister, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, wife of the Niger State governor, Hajiya Jummai Babangida Aliyu and Senator Phillip Aduda.