- The personal items of four journalists were lost to suspected robbers and pickpockets at the location of the just concluded primary of the ruling APC
- Reports indicate that hoodlums who disguised as party supporters committed the criminal acts at the venue of the convention
- A foreign journalist was one of the newsmen mugged while on duty at the convention of the nation's ruling party
Eagle Square, Abuja - At least four journalists assigned to cover the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) lost their phones and cameras to suspected robbers and pickpockets at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
According to The Punch, some of the hoodlums disguised as party supporters to perpetrate the act while others laid ambush and swooped on their victims outside the venue of the convention.
Legit.ng gathers that the incident happened on Tuesday, June 7, the same day security operatives shot tear gas canisters to disperse journalists on duty.
The editor of MP3 Weekly Newspaper, McDonald Azuju, was one of the victims.
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How Azuju was robbed
Azuju was reportedly mobbed and dispossessed of his phone while waiting in one of the long queues outside the convention ground.
He spoke about the ugly experience:
“It is unimaginable that I can come all the way from Lagos to lose my phone to some petty thieves in Abuja. Although a DPO assured me that he would help to recover it. But I doubt it. My only consolation is not allowing the culprit to escape unpunished.”
The teenager who took the phone reportedly said he threw it to a member of his syndicate, whom he could not remember.
Aside from Azuju, a foreign journalist was also mugged while on duty at the convention.
He was said to have lost his bag in the midst of a stampede when policemen fired tear gas to control the crowd.
According to him, the bag contained his personal belongings, including a digital camera and an iPad.
It was gathered that security agents arrested three suspected phone grabbers after they attacked another reporter.
The well-dressed lads, who joined the queues of delegates, reportedly took advantage of the commotion at the gate of the Eagle Square to grab the handset from the journalist’s pocket.
Journalists raise alarm
The journalist raised the alarm, which attracted the attention of security agents who rushed to the scene.
After the suspects were frisked, the missing phone was not found on them.
However, an officer, who saw the assailants throw something under a stationary security vehicle, retrieved the phone where it was hidden.
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The Punch noted that the APC convention is the second major political campaign where journalists would be exposed to police brutality and robbery this year.
The police had earlier arrested 10 suspected pickpockets at a special convention held by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the National Stadium on Saturday, May 28.
APC primary: Buhari’s former minister faults Tinubu’s emergence, makes serious allegations against party
Former minister of state for Education and one of the presidential aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has blamed his absence at the convention on the abandonment of the consensus approach in picking the party’s flag bearer for 2023.
He expressed disappointment that after he and almost all other aspirants agreed to a consensus approach to the selection of a presidential candidate, the party succumbed to handing over the party’s ticket to the highest bidder.
Nwajiuba was conspicuously absent at the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the convention.
Unbeatable Tinubu floors Osinbajo, Lawan, Amaechi, others, wins APC presidential primary
Meanwhile, Tinubu, on Wednesday, June 8, emerged as the winner of the APC's presidential primary held at Eagle Square, Abuja.
In a stiff contest, the Jagaban himself floored his challengers, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, and others.
From the votes sorted and counted, Tinubu claimed 1, 271 votes, while his closest challenger, Rotimi Amaechi, polled 316.