The North Central zonal rally, organized by the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN), was forced to a halt as the podium where dignitaries were seated collapsed with many of the dignitaries sinking with the steel make-shift podium.
The dignitaries included the host and Niger State governor, Dr.Muazu Babangida Aliyu; his deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Ibeto; and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
Minister for Information, Labaran Maku, and his Water Resources counterpart, Mrs. Serah Ochepe, as well as Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide, that of Agriculture, Hajiya Asmau Asabe Ahmed and former Minister of State, Power, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, were also there.
Similarly, there were a former Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana, Senators Philip Adudu, Zainab Kure and Barnabas Gemade.
The incident happened about seven minutes after the take-off of the event.
After the opening prayers, President, Nigeria Association of the Blind, Niger State chapter, Isah Umar, had mounted the podium, commending President Goodluck Jonathan for carrying the physically challenged along, just as there was a loud noise from the podium where the dignitaries were seated.
Within a twinkle of an eye, the podium started collapsing along with the personalities on it.
Most of the dignitaries were immediately rescued by their orderlies and carried to their vehicles.
Some of them including the wife of the Niger governor, Hajiya Jummai Aliyu, were said to have collapsed but also carried out of the danger zone.
Meanwhile, TAN, in a statement, last night, said the ceremony continued as the VIPs were relocated immediately to the rally podium after the incident.
TAN Director of Communications, Dr. Udenta O. Udenta, described the incident as unfortunate but noted that it did not diminish the ceremony.