NEDU MARK, Yenagoa
Sporadic gunshots by unknown persons, withdrawals by candidates and protests by delegates characterized Tuesday’s All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries in Bayelsa State to pick the candidate to fly the party’s flag at the December 5 governorship elections in the state.
The event which held at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, the state capital, was initially disrupted as delegates protested what they described as ‘mass irregularities by the organizers.’
Heavy gunshots rented the air at the venue of the primaries causing panic among journalists and delegates. The gunshots which were fired by unknown armed youths at about 1.25 pm outside the Samson Siasia Sports complex happened just as Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Chairman of the APC committee for the conduct of the state primaries for the 19 aspirants, arrived at the venue.
Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, Preye Aganaba and Ebitimi Angbare had earlier called for the cancelation of the primaries over suspected irregularities and violence, as delegates loyal to the candidates protested being locked out of the venue of the primaries.
Even with the heavy presence of police and other security agents on ground at the stadium, the armed youths shot sporadically into the air, as the various aspirants were locked in a meeting with the primaries committee chairman, Oshiomhole.
Chief Alaibe was absent at the parley with the Edo State Governor and the spirants. No arrests were, however, made following the shooting.
Following the call for cancellation by Alaibe and other others, accreditation of delegates had to halt as Oshiomhole and his committee members suspended proceedings to go into a closed-door meeting with the candidates, including Chief Timipre Sylva
While Alaibe insisted that he is not comfortable and satisfied with the process and arrangements put together by the organizers, former governor, Sylva was cheered into the venue of the primaries by delegates and supporters.
Over 1.300 policemen had been deployed to man the venue of the poll to foil any breakdown of law and order.