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Published On: Mon, Dec 8th, 2014

Confusion, walkout mar PDP guber primaries

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pdp logoFrom Lawal Sa’idu, Katsina, Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos, Ayodele Samuel, Lagos & Umar Dankano, Yola

Reports from across most states of the country indicate that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries which held yesterday to elect flag bearers for the party in the forthcoming general elections slated for early next year, was marred by protests, confusion and walkouts.

Peoples Daily correspondents filed in reports detailing the primaries across the states.

Katsina

Eight aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial aspirants led by Senator Ibrahim Ida walked out of the venue of the election.

 The other contestants who joined in the protest included, Alhaji Tukur Jikamshi, Engineer Nura Khalil, Architect Ahmad Aminu ‘Yar’adua, and Gide Aminu.

The rest were Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Tsauri, (Tata), Engineer Kabir Barkiya, and Alhaji Nasiru Dutsinma.

 While walking out a few minutes after the commencement of the exercise, Senator Ida told journalists that they were staging a walkout and that they would address the press later.

Also, Engineer Nura Khalil when confronted by journalists said, “yes we are staging a walk-out.”

The aspirants had before the commencement of the election expressed dissatisfaction on the way Engineer Musa Nashuni, the ninth contestant, was allegedly given undue advantage by the state governor and the party.

 They had earlier complained that while on a visit to the party secretariat, executive members shunned them.

 They had also raised concerns over the ballot boxes with each local government having its own which they alleged was meant to intimidate delegates.

 One of the aggrieved aspirants, Alhaji Tata said he was even tear-gassed while entering the venue.

Plateau

 The accreditation of Plateau State PDP delegates began at about 12 pm yesterday at the delegates’ camps outside the main venue of the primaries. The delegates arrived the Rwang Pam Stadium, the venue of the election around 4 pm already accredited, while the exercise began at about 7 pm.

There were 818 delegates across the 17 local government areas of the state including party executives.

 There were 16 aspirants seeking for the number one seat in the state and it was gathered that Sen Gyang Pwajok was being backed by the incumbent Governor, Jonah David Jang.

The other 15 contenders accused Jang of buying the delegates to favour Pwajok. At the time of filing this report, the result of the primaries was not available as counting was yet to start.

 However, prior to the commencement of the exercise, aside Pwajok, all the remaining aspirants protested against the use of labels attached to each local government ballot box which according to them was a threat to the chairmen of the local governments.

Lagos

Violence marred the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) gubernatorial primary election in Lagos as thugs engaged security agents in a gun duel at the venue of the election.

 Supporters of the leading contenders Former Minister for state defence, Musliu Obanikoro and Jimi Agbaje attacked each other, engaged security operatives deployed to ensure safety of delegates in duel.

 The election that ought to commence 9 am did not start until around 5 pm when journalists and delegates for the said election were accredited into the hall at Oregun amidst tight security.

Crisis started when supporters of various aspirants singing different songs suddenly launched attacks among themselves. Factions loyal to two of the frontline governorship aspirants, Musilu Obanikoro and Jimi Agbaje engaged themselves in fight that lasted for several hours.

 Thugs were throwing bottles up and displaying weapons of various kinds before the police intervened and started shooting sporadically into the air.

 Earlier, there were speculations that the former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro had been persuaded to withdraw from the race. Refuting the claim while addressing a press conference, Senator Obanikoro said nobody can persuade him to step down.

 He said: “Nobody can persuade me to step down. I resigned the coveted office of Minister for State (Defence). I am here and you all can see despite the rumours that they have spread into the public space. I am here and there is doubt in my mind that we are going to participate and see this to a surgical end.

 “We have urged all our supporters to remain calm in the face of intimidation and persecution. Nothing comes easy but we believe that whatever the lord says shall come to pass,” Obanikoro said.

 As at the time of filling this report, about 700 delegates had been accredited, while voting was yet to commence.

Adamawa

Stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State yesterday declared the National Assembly party primaries conducted in Abuja as not only illegal but a sham, since the real elected delegates did not participate in the primaries and consequently set in motion machinery to hold theirs.

As at the time of filing this report, a parallel primary has started at the Ribadu Square in Yola.  Governor Ngilari flew back to Yola to take part, on the grounds that they have the backing of a court decision which ordered the delegates list to be used and agreed to as the authentic list.

“We are the real PDP not the thugs that were hired from Nyanya and paid,” said a stakeholder.

“The directive was clear! But the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu has little or no regards for the President, hence he flouted the directive,” said a party source.

The PDP bigwigs that attended the parallel primaries were Governor Bala James Ngilari, Chief Juta, Mr. Andrawus Sawa, Brig-General Buba Marwa (rtd), Senator Grace Bent, Dr Ahmed Modibbo, Hajiya Halima Ngable, Aliyu Kama among others.

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