Abuja (Sundiata Post) – One person was killed in Bayelsa State as violence marred the conduct of the Peoples Democratic Party’s primary for the House Representatives and state Houses of Assembly elections in some parts of the country on Sunday.
There was a report of alleged abduction of delegates in Osun State, while in some other states, factions held parallel elections.
In Bayelsa, the exercise reportedly turned violent at Constituency One in the Ogbia Local Government Area as a man identified as Michael Isaiah, nicknamed ‘Tompolo’, was reportedly shot dead.
Details of the incident was sketchy as of press time, but sources said that violence broke out following a heated argument over the validity of the delegates list to be used for voting in the constituency, which resulted in sporadic shootings.
Reacting to the incident, an aspirant for the Ogbia Federal Constituency ticket of the PDP, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, condemned the killing.
Iworiso-Markson, in a statement released in Yenagoa, said the killing of Isaiah was barbaric and sad, stating that nobody’s life is worth taken for any political office.
He called on security agents to go after the killers and their sponsors, insisting that those responsible must not go unpunished.
When contacted, the spokesman for the state police command, Asinim Butswat, said he was away attending a course in Lagos and promised to get back to our correspondent on the alleged killing but he had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.
A similar scenario was said to have played out in the party primaries in Isoko constituency of Delta State.
The exercise was marred with crisis as unknown gunmen stormed the election venue, shooting sporadically shortly after the election results were announced.
The state legal adviser of the party, Bernard Odion, had won with 23 votes thus beating the incumbent, Jude Ogbimi, who polled one vote.
The invading gunmen were said to have stormed the venue in three Toyota Sienna vehicles shortly after the primary election results had been declared.
They subsequently began to shoot indiscriminately into the air thus forcing party members, supporters, and security personnel to scamper for dear lives.
In another development, an aspirant contesting for PDP’s ticket for the Boluwaduro/Ifedayo/Ila Federal Constituency in Osun State, Seyi Bamidele, alleged that some delegates were abducted during the primary.
Bamidele, who is the current PDP South West Zonal Youth Leader, also said the primary was fraught with anomalies and demanded an immediate response from the leadership of the party in the state.
According to him, those abducted are delegates in the Ifedayo State Assembly primary held in Oke Ila.
“The whole exercise has been marred with anomalies. Some delegates that were to vote in the House of Assembly primary for an aspirant for Ifedayo State Constituency PDP ticket held at Iya ni o se Hall, Oke Ila were abducted. They were later released after the exercise has been completed,” he said.
Efforts to get the reaction of the PDP caretaker chairman in the state, Mr. Adekunle Akindele, proved futile, as calls to his mobile line rang out, while he had yet to respond to a text message sent to him by one of our correspondents as of the time of filing this report.
Three aspirants contesting PDP’s ticket for Ibadan North-East/Ibadan South-East Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, including Deji Aboderin; Dr Kazeem Olasupo and Niyi Aborisade, said hoodlums chased them away from the venue of the primary election at Orita Aperin area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
The Ibadan aspirants alleged that the Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Mr Taofeek Arapaja; the serving lawmaker representing the constituency, Abass Adigun aka Agboworin, were present when armed hoodlums attacked them and chased them away from the venue.
Speaking with journalists in separate interviews outside the venue of the primary poll, the three aggrieved aspirants berated Governor Seyi Makinde; Arapaja and some of the governor’s aides for allegedly being part of the alleged intimidation meted out on them.
They also said they would challenge the party in court if it announced any winner, adding that no election took place.
An effort by our correspondent to get Arapaja was unsuccessful.
Calls to his phone did not connect and he was yet to respond to the chats sent to him on WhatsApp.
The exercise suffered a setback for hours in Ogun State over crisis on delegates list
The PUNCH gathered that the election could not hold in the four centres designated for the three constituencies in Abeokuta North and South Local Governments as well as for the only constituency in Odeda.
As of 7.30pm, when this report was being filed, there was still disagreement on the list of delegates and other allegations of manipulation.
In Edo State, The PUNCH discovered that two factions loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki and the South-South Vice-Chairman, Dan Orbih, held parallel polls for the House of Assembly and House of Representatives in the state.
As such, all the aspirants supported by Obaseki won elections conducted by his faction, while results were still being expected in the election of those supported by Orbih as of the time of filing this report.
But the state Commissioner for Information, Adaze Ewanta, who described the exercise as free and fair, denied reports of parallel congress.
The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Ndudi Elumelu, secured a return ticket as candidate of the PDP for a third term to represent Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta.
Elumelu on Sunday polled 80 votes out of the total votes cast by 132 delegates at the House of Representatives primary election held in Asaba.
No winner had been declared in the primaries election held in Ethiope Federal Constituency.
The two contestants, Mr Ben Igbakpa and Chief James Ibori’s daughter, Mrs Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu, both had the same score at the end of the contest held in Oghara, Delta State.
The results of the party primaries ended in a draw as the two contestants scored 34 votes each.
Investigations revealed that the party would take a final decision later, on the modalities of deciding the winner for the constituency, whether or not it would be through a re-run.
His closest rival, Pat Ajudua, polled 35 votes while Mr Kanyinebi Mobushi got 17 votes.
The Returning Officer, Chief Funkekeme Solomon, declared Elumelu the winner of the contest for polling the highest number of votes in what he described as free, fair and transparent election.
The Ikeja Federal Constituency primaries conducted at Victory Home School, Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos was declared inconclusive by the Returning Officer, Mr Olalekan Al-Maroof.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the exercise was declared inconclusive following a disagreement by the ward chairmen over the delegates list sent by the party’s secretariat.
They had claimed that it was different from the list of candidates voted from the wards.
The exercise conducted in all the 25 State Assembly constituencies in Adamawa State had all the incumbents seeking re-election re-nominated.
The Akwa Ibom State Assembly and House of. Representatives primaries which were conducted peacefully throughout the state produced the party’s candidates for the 26 state constituencies and10 federal constituencies in the state.
However, aggrieved members opposed to the outcome of April 30, 2022 adhoc delegates election boycotted the primaries.
One of the aggrieved members of the party, who is the Senatorial aspirant for Akwa Ibom South (Eket)district, Mr Ephraim Inyang-eyen, explained that they boycotted the primaries because it was illegal to do so.