Another demonstration of the incompetence of the Nigeria police today in Jos led to their killing of six people at a campaign rally of Muhammad Buhari's Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the city.
Following threats by the Nigeria police that General Buhari (Rtd), the presidential candidate of the CPC, could not hold a politically rally in the volatile city, they blocked major parts of the entrance to the Polo Ground venue of the campaign. It was a move reminiscent of the February 12 action of the police at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt where they caused the deaths of 20 people by shooting into the air to prevent people from leaving the rally and started a stampede instead.
CPC operatives told SaharaReporters that at the Jos Polo Ground rally, the Nigerian police had the singular objective of preventing Buhari's supporters from attending his rally in the city.
Earlier in the day, Buhari had paid a courtesy call on the governor of the state, Jonah Jang. While he was there, a huge crowd massed in front of the governor's lodge waiting for the presidential candidate to come out. As soon as he had concluded the courtesy visit, they marched with him to the venue of the rally.
But the police, under the disingenuous argument that a huge rally in the city by Buhari supporters could lead to another round of violence in the area tried to prevent several groups from reaching the venue. That action, which the supporters described as "sabotage," led to resistance and violence. The police resorted to using live ammunition to disperse the crowd, leading to the death of the six.
As a result of the chaos, Buhari could not go to the palace of Gbong Gwong Jos, nor could he meet with other groups waiting to meet with him in the city.
It would be recalled that last week in Ibadan, Oyo State, the police tried to prevent Buhari from using Mapo Hall, which his party had reserved, for his rally. They claimed it would be used the following day by the wife of Goodluck Jonathan, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, and that they needed 48 hours to clear the place for her.