Okene ( Kogi) – Hoodlums today invaded the venue of the empowerment programme, organised by Senator Ahmed Ogembe for women in Okene, Kogi state.
The Afims Hotel venue was already filled up by guests , party members and the would-be-beneficiaries of the empowerment programme, when the hoodlums came calling, wielding dangerous weapons, attacking people and disrupting the seating arrangement for the event.
The few security men at the hotel were said to have been overwhelmed by the thugs, who scattered tables and chairs and triggered a bedlam.
The thugs said to be armed with dangerous weapons searched frantically for Ogembe who is representing Kogi Central Senatorial district but could not lay hands on him.
Ogembe of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) was said to be a few meters away from the hotel when the thugs came.
The thugs later fled the hotel in different directions to escape arrest.
However, many guests, some political associates of Ogembe and beneficiaries of the empowerment programme were injured during the bedlam.
Ogembe who later showed up at the venue ordered that the injured be taken to hospital for treatment and appealed to the remaining people at the venue to remain calm.
The Senator , after due consultation with his party members announced that the ceremony must hold.
Addressing journalists , Ogembe said that the incident had been reported to the police.
Attempts made to get the police to comment on the incident proved abortive as calls made to the telephone line of the state police command spokesman, ASP William Aya were not answered.
One thousand and two hundred women from five local governments of Adavi, Okene, Okehi, Ajaokuta and Ogori -Magongo , making up the senatorial district were selected to benefit from the programme.
Senator Ogembe gave each woman N20,000 to start a business.
The Senator explained that the gesture was a follow up to an earlier one during which tricycles, motorcycles, grinding machines, generators, sewing machines and other valuable items were given to 1,000 people.
He said that he had also sunk 35 motorized boreholes, fitted with overhead tanks in the five local government areas in the district.
The senator urged the beneficiaries and communities where the projects were sited to make the best use of them. ( NAN)