A mob attacked President Umaru Yar’Adua’s convoy on Monday as it drove through Jos on a condolence visit to the palace of the Gbong-Gwom Jos, Victor Pam, who died at the weekend.
Those on the entourage included Minister of State for Power, Nuhu Way, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor; National Vice Chairman (North East), Paul Wanpama; and National Secretary, Abubakar Baraje.
The attack by suspected Islamic fundamentalists took place around the Jos central mosque, close to where Yar’Adua’s campaign train was hit in 2007.
An eyewitness said immediately the convoy was sighted, youths believed to be from the Hausa community trooped out in their hundreds to haul stones, broken bottles, sticks, and other dangerous weapons at it.
Yar’Adua’s back up Jeep was badly dented, likewise the car of Plateau Environment and Housing Commissioner, Nankin Bagudu.
The windscreen of the car of former Governor Solomon Lar, and others were damaged.
Some security officials on the ground received head injuries.
One of the drivers of the damaged vehicles, who did not want his name in print, said the youths took everyone unawares when they suddenly appeared on the road throwing missiles on the convoy shouting, "thief, thief, thief, go away, we don’t like you."
Governor Jonah Jang’s Media Adviser, Daniel Manjang, described the attack as a high sense of irresponsibility which the government would not condone, and would make effort to fish out and prosecute the perpetrators.
The attackers are said to be nursing grudges from the violence over the council election in Jos last November, during which several lives were lost and property destroyed.
Yar’Adua later criticised the way Jang handled the matter. Both of them have since fallen out.
Jang has even gone to court to challenge the constitution of a panel by Yar’Adua to probe the mayhem.
When Yar’Adua came to Jos in 2007 during the election campaign, Hausa youths believed to be supporters of the Presidential candidate of the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Muhammadu Buhari, clustered around Jos central mosque shouting "sai Buhari-sai Buhari."
However, Yar’Adua appeared unruffled on Monday when he was received at the palace by traditional rulers. He described the death of Pam as a great loss to both Plateau State and Nigeria.
He recalled that Pam had served the country as a police officer before he became a traditional ruler where he also served his people.
He said the man would be greatly missed.
Jang thanked Yar’Adua for coming around to show solidarity with the people, which shows his love for them as a true father of the nation.
He assured him of the support of the people of the state.
Jang described the death of Pam as a great loss, and said the vacuum would not be easily filled considering his achievements.
Acting President of the state Traditional Council, Miskoom Hulbert Shaldas, noted that Pam stood for peace and was a source of inspiration.
He prayed for a vibrant ruler to continue where Pam left off.