A factional leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, yesterday escaped gunmen attack.
According to the report, armed men invaded their gathering and inflicted severe injuries on the party members and supporters.
No fewer than five persons reportedly sustained serious injuries, and were rushed to the hospital.
The armed men were said to have attacked any body in sight, including lodgers at the End Well Hotel, venue of the meeting.
The thugs, wielding dangerous weapons, also vandalised some property of the hotel, as people scampered to escape through windows and emergency exit points.
The hotel is owned by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state.
Hunkuyi, representing the Kaduna North Senatorial District, had convened the meeting to sensitise party members on the 2019 governorship election in the state.
Security operatives shot into the air to disperse the attackers, who were spotted at the venue with guns, cutlasses and knives.
The senator’s media aide, Mr. James Obute, explained: “Those who sustained various degrees of injuries were taken to Garkuwa Hospital and Barau Dikko specialists Hospital, where they are receiving treatment.
“The thugs broke some vehicles’ windscreens, including those belonging to the Chairman of ATAR Communication, and leader of APC Restoration Group, Tijjani Ramalan.
Meanwhile, Hunkuyi, who had visited the injured persons in the hospitals, has condemned the incident.
He accused the state government of masterminding the attack, adding that he has never had such experience since he joined politics 30 years ago.
According to the senator, those who are feeling jittery of his political acceptance in the state may have sponsored the thugs.
He said the gathering was not a political campaign, but to task stakeholders and party supporters to resist imposition of delegates.
He noted that the plan is to impose the delegates through affirmation, or selection at the party’s congresses in the state.
But, in its reaction, the state government warned that it would not tolerate violence as a political instrument.
A statement by the governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, condemned the reported disruption of the political meeting by thugs.
He said security agencies had been directed to investigate and prosecute anyone found culpable in the attack.
The government described the attack as undemocratic and contrary to principles.
Hunkuyi disclosed that he had made a formal report to the police.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police, Austin Iwar, confirmed the development.