As the clearance for gaining access into the Eagle Square, in Abuja, venue of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national convention became difficult, crowd control became hard resulting in a stampede.
According to eyewitnesses, an elderly man of over 70 years old, had his leg broken, while a pregnant woman writhed in pain, before she was helped to her feet, when she was pushed down by party faithfuls, who were also trying to gain entrance into the venue.
Both the 70+ years old man, the pregnant woman, and other persons who sustained various degree of injuries, were reportedly taken to the hospital for medical attention.
The stampeding and jostling began at the venue’s gate, when delegates and other members of the party waiting for clearance started complaining of unnecessary delays.
Sources said, having spent over two hours patiently on the queue, their patience waned, and by 10:45 am, scuffle and jostling began, resulting in a stampede. But for the quick response of security officers who were on ground to forestall any eventuality, the situation, according to eyewitnesses, would have been out of control.
With the use of force, security agents stationed at the venue, comprising of men of the Department of State Security (DSS), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Nigerian Army (NA), and the Civil Defense, regrouped, and chased after the crowd with police dogs and teargas.
Apart from the 70+ years old man and the pregnant lady, about 26 other persons were reportedly injured during the chaos.
However, APC top officials were said to still be locked in negotiation for consensus over who represents the party in the various political offices as at the time of filing this report.