A drama on Wednesday ensued at Yola International Airport when a senator representing Adamawa Central Senatorial District, Abdulaziz Nyako, allegedly assaulted a member representing Michika/Madagali, Adamu Kamale, over the use of helicopter.
Following the recent bomb blast in Madagali, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, made arrangement to deliver relief materials to assist the affected communities and invited the lawmakers to supervise the distribution.
Witnesses said the fight broke out when Mr Nyako allegedly directed Nigerian Air Force, NAF officers not to allow Mr Kamale to board the NAF helicopter.
“But while they were about to board the helicopter, Senator Abdulaziz Nyako was seen saying that Kamale should not be allowed to use the helicopter as he (Mr Nyako) is the chairman of the delegation,” a security source at the airport told our reporter.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Mr Kamale narrated his ordeal, saying he sustained injuries when security operatives forcefully prevented him from boarding the helicopter.
“Following the unfortunate incidence of bomb blast explosions in Madagali which is one of the local government in my constituency, the Governor of Adamawa State together with other well-meaning Nigerians including members of the National Assembly solicited for relief materials from the NEMA for the people of Madagali.
“As the Honourable member representing the area, I personally called on the director-general of NEMA earlier on Monday the 20th of November, 2017 to ensure the delivery of the relief materials.
“Arrangements were made and all the stakeholders including Senator Abdulaziz Nyako who is the Chairman committee on IDPs/NEMA in the Senate to deliver the relief materials.
“Air commodore Ohemu was assigned by NEMA to supervise the delivery. A Helicopter was arranged by the Air force to convey some of the stakeholders to where the materials is to be distributed on Wednesday, 21st November, 2017 by 90:am. I was billed to travel on board the helicopter with Senator Abdulaziz Nyako, Air commodore Ohemu and others.
“To my utmost dismay, while I was to board the helicopter, Senator Abdulaziz Nyako ordered that I should not be permitted to use the helicopter as he is the chairman of the delegation.
“All my efforts to draw the attention of the Senator and the Air force senior officer failed and in the process the Air Force officer ordered his men on ground to assault me and ordered them to put me in the guardroom.
“They tore off my dresses, and I sustained injuries from the forceful withdrawal from the helicopter.
“The people of Madagali have suffered several attacks and have been traumatized for many years, as their representative I have never seen Senator Abdulaziz Nyako in Madagali to commiserate with the people of the area over the several unfortunate incidences.
“I cannot explain this sudden monopoly of the Senator on the Federal government relief materials meant for the people of my constituency,” Mr Kamale added.
But in a swift reaction, Mr Nyako denied ordering security operatives to assault the lawmaker.
“Last week I was at NEMA headquarters for oversight function. Being the chairman senate Committee on IDPs/NEMA, they requested me to be part and chair the relief materials distribution in Gulak, Madagali.
“So they promised to provide me with an aircraft, and they requested that I should provide them with the list of those who would be in my entourage.
“Naturally I will provide the names of members of my committee in the Senate, and I was also informed by the DG NEMA that Senator Binta Masi Garba (representing the area) will want to be in attendance, so I included her name and that of the chairman House Committee on NEMA/IDPs Hon. Jibrin Galjumari.
‘’To our dismay, after we all boarded the helicopter; crew had finished all checks, and engine set on with propeller rolling about to take-off, and to our shock the man in question, who was not in our team, appeared from nowhere.
“In what could be described as suicide mission, he wanted to climb the aircraft, a serious situation he put us.
“So he should thank God for saving his life not to start apportioning blame! We were all shocked to our marrow when we were later told that he was a federal lawmaker who should have known the consequence,” Mr Nyako replied.
Also reacting, the North East Zonal coordinator of NEMA, Bashir Garga, blamed the lawmaker for what he described as suicide mission. ‘’In the first place NEMA provided the names of those scheduled for the flight. Hon. Kamale’s name was not in the flight manifesto but the hounourable member declined to heed to our pleas.
“How could he attempt to enter after was engine set with propeller rolling, and about to take off? In fact if the Air Force pilot was not mindful, the propeller could have cut off his head,” the NEMA coordinator added.