Justin Tyopuusu, Jalingo
A policeman attached to the Senator representing Taraba Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Yusuf Abubakar, on Saturday shot dead a member of a vigilance group in the Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State.
An eyewitness, Mallam Iliasu Jatau, told journalists that one of the police officers attached to Abubakar shot the victim while trying to disperse the youths who were protesting against the senator’s visit to the area.
The senator was in Bali town, the headquarters of Taraba Central Senatorial Zone, to consult party stalwarts ahead of the forthcoming primaries of the All Progressive Congress when the tragedy occurred.
A chieftain of the party in the area told our correspondent that youths loyal to Yusuf and those loyal to the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan, clashed at the event, leading to the death of one person.
“The body language of some of the youths before the arrival of the senator showed that all was not well.
“We were here on Friday when the news filtered in that Senator Abubakar will be visiting Bali. Some youths then mobilised in their numbers and started protesting against his visit,” he said.
Our correspondent gathered that the deceased, identified only as Mr Daratu, a father of five, was caught in the middle of the protesting youths who were allegedly trying to lynch the senator.
It was gathered that the policeman in an attempt to shoot in the air to disperse the youths, shot Daratu, who was trying to control the surging crowd.
When contacted, the Taraba State Commissioner of Police, David Akinremi, confirmed the incident but said it was not clear who actually fired the fatal shot.
“The senator was in Bali to visit the APC secretariat when some hoodlums attacked him; he was, however, whisked off to safety by security personnel.
“I have ordered an investigation into the incident to unravel who actually fired the fatal shot. You know, there were DSS and other security personnel there; so, it’s not clear who shot the vigilante. The hoodlums might have done that, but investigation will unravel who actually shot the man dead,” he said.
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