By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
IT took security operatives to rescue the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Mrs. Sadiya Umar Farouk and her team from attacks by alleged suspected thugs and supporters of the opposition PDP on Thursday in Gandi town, Rabah local government area of Sokoto state.
Journalists at the venue to cover the event also escaped by hair’s breath as one of the vehicles conveying them was smashed.
Though, eye witness sources said the incident began with exchange of abusive words between supporters of the two major political rivals, the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in Rabah local government which caused a rowdy mood and degenerated into violent attacks that characterized the event.
Mrs. Farouk was in Gandi town to flag off the distribution of assorted relief materials to victims of attacks by bandits camped in the town when the thugs in large numbers appeared at the venue singing and chanting slogans” Nigeria sai Atiku! Sokoto sai Mutawalle!” as well playing political music of the opposition PDP to disrupt the all important event.
The incident started midway into the programme of events when security operatives had to resort to firing gun shots in the air to disperse the crowd to make way for the government Official and her team to escape attacks.
The thugs armed with local weapons and stones smashed a number of vehicles including that of the Council’s Sole Administrator and destroyed the tents and other decoratives designed for the occasion.
Inaugurating the distribution of the items which included 630 bags of grains, 221 gallon of oil, 233 mosquito nets, 233 rapers and children cloth as well as drugs and wheel chairs among others, Mrs Sadiya Farouk, assured the victims of more relief materials from the federal government.
According to the Official, ” this is the first batch of materials. More assistance will come with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We are here on the directive of President Muhammad Buhari to assist and commiserate with you on the attacks as well as condole with the families of those that lost their loved ones.
“We have brought with us food stuffs, drugs, confectioneries and clothing materials in order to assist and ease the suffering of the victims,” She explained.
She said already the Commission had since assigned its officials to access the situation for government to arrange more materials for the victims.
The Commissioner further disclosed that relevant skills acquisition and vocational training programmes would be introduced to comprehensively engage to the internally displaced persons so as to encourage self reliance among them.
“This is in order to assist the victims to engage in various vocational trades to become self reliance.” The Commissioner added.
Mrs Farouk however, assured the victims of President Buhari’s commitment towards ensuring more security in the area for lasting peace while urging the committee that will share the materials to fear God and ensure every victims.
She also adviced the victims to ensure judicious use of the materials for their betterment.
Earlier, the Rabah local government Sole Administrator, Alhaji Abubakar Bala who commended the federal government for the gesture noted that the state government had remain committed to assisting the victims since the occurrence of the incident
Bala also commended Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for his dedication toward providing the necessary relief throughout the year and called on people to support such commitment.
However, the District Heads of Rabah and Gandi, Alhaji Bello Abubakar and Alhaji Muhammad Machido while in their separate remarks, appreciated the Commission and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for extending support to the victims assuring that the relief materials would reach the target victims.