Violence disrupts Abia North PDP Senatorial primary election

Violence erupted midway into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ) primary election for Abia North Senatorial District on Tuesday, bringing the exercise to an abrupt end.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-member ad hoc delegates election was organised at the Ohafia Local Government Headquarters, near 34 Army Brigade.

The party had earlier concluded a rancour-free rescheduled House of Representatives primary election for Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency under tight security.

Barely one and half hours later, the primary election committee proceeded into the senatorial primary with the accreditation of delegates from Arochukwu, Bende, Isuikwuato, Ohafia and Umunneochi Local Government Areas that make up the district.

The process began with Umunneochi delegates and was immediately followed by Isuikwuato delegates.

However, trouble erupted midway into the process, over arguments surrounding alleged non qualification of some delegates from the area.

The argument degenerated into a serious fight, in spite of the frantic efforts of the military personnel deployed to maintain the peace and security at the venue.

The free-for-all that ensued and the firing of some shots into the air to restore nomalcy, caused stampede.

Members of the election committee, officials of the INEC on hand to supervise the exercise as well as delegates, newsmen and observers at the venue scampered into safety.

The scenario, however, turned more chaotic when security operatives began to chase everybody out of the premises with clubs, whips and rifles.

NAN reports that the contest was between a former lawmaker, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa, and the lawmaker representing Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency, Rep. Uko Nkole.

While Ohuabunwa aspires to return for a second term in the Upper Chamber, Nkole, who is doing his second term, seeks to go to the Senate.

The Police Spokesman in the state, SP Godfrey Ogbonna, said he travelled out of the state and was not aware of the incident.

But his counterpart in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ndukwe Agu, said he heard about the development but declined further comments.

According to Agu, the command has yet to receive a formal report of the incident from the Ohafia Division of the corps.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker of the Abia House of Assembly, Mr Ifeanyi Uchendu, has clinched the party’s ticket to run for a second term in the state assembly.

He polled 36 votes to defeat his closest rival, Kelvin Jumbo, who scored 28 votes.

The two other aspirants, Mr Samuel Anya, and the only female aspirant, Love Ezema, got three votes and nil, respectively.