After initially denying that it did not happen, Niger state government has finally confirmed that Governor Abubakar Sani Bello was booed and stoned in Bida last week.
The incident occurred when the governor, accompanied by Etsu Nupe, Mr Yahaya Abubakar, and other dignitaries were on a sympathy visit to victims of Bida burnt market.
The government in a statement issued by Commissioner for Information, Mr Danjuma Salau, confirmed the incident, while describing it "as unfortunate".
The government also blamed the incident on those it called "misguided youths and miscreants".
“The misbehavior exhibited by some misguided, ill-informed, financially induced, politically, motivated miscreants is at variance with what Bida people are known for. Bida people are known for peace, respect for elders and constituted authority.
“It is clear that the motive of the sponsors of those miscreants was to embarrass the Governor, other political office holders, as well as his Royal Highness, Etsu Nupe and, more importantly, diminish the success of the visit to Bida.”
Salau said "It is not just unfair to the victims, but also morally wrong for some people to make political capital out of the unfortunate incident that occurred".
The Commissioner said "as a responsive and responsible Government, lawlessness will not be tolerated" adding that security agencies had been directed to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the public disturbance and anyone found culpable should be dealt with according to law
Despite the incident, the Commissioner said the administration of Mr Sani-Bello "remains focused on delivery of good governance to Nigerlites irrespective of political, ethnic or religious differences" adding that the government also remained determined to ensure peace, law and order in every nook and crannies of the state".
The governor, the statement said appreciated Etsu Nupe, and the people of Bida Emirate for "the warm reception accorded him during the visit to Bida" to commiserate with victims of the recent fire incident in the town.
"The overwhelming reception accorded Sani-Bello was a clear testimony of the love and respect for him by Bida people", the statement said
The police had already made some arrests in connection with the incident according to Niger state police command Public Relations Officer, Mr Muhammed Abubakar.