From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Eagle Square Abuja, venue of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention, on Saturday practically turned into a war zone and battleground forcing the security agents to release several canisters of teargas to disperse the surging crowd.
Pickpockets, brazen thieves dis not only make life unbearable to the attendees but also gave the security agents tough time, forcing them to deploy all manners of weapon to regulate and force the crowd to behave themselves.
In fact, it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for the political supports, party members, leaders, chieftains to access the few entry gates.
Indian hemp, popularly called weed and other hard drugs were not only consumed with impunity but, the smokers dastardly unleash terror on the innocent party members and other attendees.
Lamentably, the security agents unleash all manners of weapon, ranging from horsewhip, big sticks (planks) and canisters of teargas to check the incursion of those struggling to gain entrance into the few gates.
Curiously, in the process of forcing the surging crowd to retreat, some of them stumbled on each other, resulting in mild stampede. While some were injured in the process, others struggle to overcome the suffocating effects of teargas.
Not only did blood flowed as a result of the deployment of the planks, some were almost suffocated to death by the effects of the teargas.
Hundreds of handsets were equally stolen freely, other personal belongings like money, bags, wristwatches, were also lost to the robbers that unleashed untold hardship on the attendance.
Intermittently, one would hear a helpless voice from the attendees, crying for help after losing one personal effects or the other, or from those blinded by the teargas released every minute and hour.
“Please, help me, my eyes, I cannot see again, water, water,” a helpless gentleman had cried. “My head, my head, police don kill, what did I do, God help me,” another cried again.
“There is robbery in my place, Okene, but they are not comparable to what we are seeing here today. Abuja get robbers and they rob without shame and fear. I was lucky to fifht and wrest my own hqndset from one of them, but this my friend here could not. He just lost his new phone he bought for N80,000 last month. How much will he get here to buy another new phone. They are experts in stealing phones and other things,” a middle-aged man who claim to have come from Okene, Kogi State, told Sunday Sun.
“This is really convention of thieves. And I don’t think they are thieves from Abuja. They may not have come rom other parts of the country to carry out this evil act. God will regard them if they have conscience,” another victim complained.
Although the security agents were practically overwhelmed, controlling the overwhelming crowd, they were equally at alert to make arrest of about 40 thieves and pickpockets, including a juvenile robber, who was given the beating of his lives kept with others.
The security agents were equally helpful and on hand to rescue a robber from the hands of the angry mob that did not give him the beating of life but also threatened to kill him for stealing handset.
On the flip side, snide the Eagle Square was a carnival of sort as dignitaries arrive in colour, fanfare and glory, dancing and drumming endlessly.