Pandemonium erupted on Thursday evening when overzealous operatives attached to the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, attacked a journalist and the security details at the national secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Abuja.
The incident occurred after Tijani, who earlier arrived for a meeting, was driving out of the party headquarters amid a heavy blaring of sirens by her security aides.
Trouble started when a security detail to the minister slapped the chief security officer manning the main gate of the APC secretariat for not being quick enough to order his ‘boys’ to open the gate after seeing Tijani stepped out of the premises.
The action infuriated other police officers and security men at the Secretariat, who rose to challenge the aggressor.
Rather than tender an apologise for the assault, the remaining aides of the minister threatened to open fire if the aggrieved police officers fail to retreat.
The war of words, which soon degenerated into a free-for-all, caused a traffic gridlock that started from the party Secretariat to Blantyre Street, leaving motorists stranded.
In the midst of the chaos, an NTA journalist, Mohammed Baba, who was assigned to cover events at the party secretariat was caught in the crossfire between the opposition sides.
Baba was manhandled by the same security aides who started the fight for having the gut to recording the chaos.
Despite identifying himself as a broadcast journalist, he was seriously brutalised, an action that left his ‘Babariga’ in tatters.
However, further attempts to seize his phone and camera were rebuffed by members of the APC press corp and other security men at the gate.
While the drama lasted, the minister sat comfortably in the car and watched as her security details to tear down the secretariat if anybody had the effrontery to challenge them again.
But when she observed other journalists have started finding their way to the scene, Tijani beckoned to the operatives to return to the convoy before they finally drove out recklessly, scaring onlookers and passersby in the process.
Efforts to get the reaction of the National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, on the issue proved abortive.
As of the time of filing this report, he has yet to answer his calls nor give clarification on the matter.