UMUAHIA—THE Abia State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, primaries to select chairmanship candidates for the December 17 local government elections ended in tragedy with one person dead and three persons seriously injured in Isiala Ngwa North area.
They were victims of a fire outbreak in the Chairman’s office, allegedly set by aggrieved party members.
The name of the dead victim, simply given as Onyemaechi, was said to be a staff of the council attached to the Office of Chairman.
Meanwhile, Abia State Police Command has arrested four suspects in connection with the fire incident.
The suspects, who were paraded by the State Police Commissioner, Leye Oyebade, were Okereke Madubuchi, Enwerem Chukwuma, Ebuka Aroh and Loveday Nwigwe. They were said to be students of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba.
Oyebade said they would be charged to court for arson, while promising to fish out their sponsors.
Vanguard learned that the primaries also witnessed crisis in many councils, where some politicians alleged imposition of candidates.
The party had used option A4 to select councillorship candidates, but changed the rule to open-secret for the chairmanship primaries. Allegations of imposition of candidates, alteration of delegates’ lists, among other malpractices, were bandied about by aspirants and their supporters as they tried to outmanoeuvre each other.
An aggrieved party member said people of the area were rejecting the imposition of candidates from the same area as the Speaker of the House of Assembly, saying “it means people from other areas in the council are not stakeholders in the system.”