The governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State has been marred by violence.The primary, which took place at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, Yenagoa, started on a controversial note with some aspirants calling for the cancellation of the exercise.
As early as 8am, thugs were seen at the entrance of the venue, hurling stones at the delegates who lined up to be screened for the exercise, creating chaos in the process.
However, after a period of panic, the over 1,300 security operatives at the venue eventually restored order after battling belligerent party members.
Most of the delegates were shut out of the exercise and were not allowed access to the venue of the primary.
When the accreditation of the delegates started, most persons who presented themselves for the exercise were said to be fake delegates in possession of cloned voter cards.
The Master of Ceremonies announced that some persons with cloned cards had been arrested and handed over to the police.
The rowdiness of the exercise was blamed on the lateness of the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who arrived at the venue around 12pm.
Shortly before the arrival of Oshiomhole, the former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Timi Alaibe, and other aspirants such as Preye Aganaba and Ebitimi Amgbare briefed the press and called for the cancellation of the exercise.
Alaibe said, “You have seen the rancorous process leading to the primaries. The process is being marred by irregularities, violence, intimidation and complete disrespect for aspirants, agents and party officials.”
But Sylva said he had not received any complaints from his agents. He added that he was hailed by the people because of his outstanding credentials.
He urged delegates and the aspirants to conduct themselves peacefully