Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the Presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), his running mate, Fola Adeola, and other party chieftains narrowly escaped death yesterday at the Bauchi Airport in Bauchi. The accident, according to sources in the party, occurred at 12 noon yesterday (Monday) when
the chartered airplane conveying the party stalwarts including Boss Mustapha, Deputy National Chairman of the party and Yusuf Alli, former National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party; crash landed due to non-clearance of the airport runway by airport authorities.
The runway which had been taken over by rams and goats, was not cleared which caused the pilot of the aircraft with number 5BN-BNR to do a forced-landing, damaging the aircraft in the process.
The plane conveying the ACN presidential candidate, Nuhu Ribadu, and other leaders of the party had hovered in the air for about an hour to allow for the runway to be cleared.
The party chieftains were attending the ACN presidential rally scheduled for Bauchi today,Tuesday.
The Director of Media and publicity of the Nuhu Ribadu Campaign Organisation, Ibrahim Modibbo who confirmed the report said his organization suspected sabotage.
“We suspect sabotage and as a matter of urgency we call for an investigation into the immediate and remote cause of the runway invasion,” Modibbo stated.
“If not for the expertise of the pilot, we would probably not be saying what we are saying today.
“Is it possible for President Jonathan who is also the Presidential candidate of the PDP to be involved in such a situation where the runway he is to land on will be filled by rams, which could have been controlled?” Modibbo said
Mr. Modibbo said the Nuhu Ribadu Campaign Organisation was not asking the PDP government to do it a special favour by guaranteeing safety and security in our airports.
“What we are saying is that no life is more important than the other. Before the present PDP government is booted out by the people, they should at least ensure that our airports, our roads, and our towns and villages are safe enough for everyone including our candidates and particularly during this electioneering period,” he affirmed.