The Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, venue of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary, was turned to a battle ground today as supporters of two leading governorship aspirants, Ndutimi Alaibe and Timipre Sylva engaged themselves in violent clashes which left scores, including Alaibe, injured. It was a pathetic sight to see a political event reduced to a combat.
Investigations revealed that trouble started when it was discovered by Alaibe and his supporters that accredited delegates from Brass, the local government of his arch-rival, Sylva, were far more than all delegates from the other local governments combined. It was in a bid to challenge what was seen as an anomaly by Alaibe and his supporters that a heated argument ensued resulting in a free- for- all fight between the opposing camps.
In the process, Alaibe and many others sustained injuries. To demonstrate his anger and disapproval of the electoral process, Alaibe was also said to have stormed out of the venue with his supporters in protest.
Further investigation showed that many of those who participated in the fracas were ordinarily not supposed to attend the primary because they were not delegates but came as an organized party of thugs and militants on both sides of Alaibe and Sylva to drum support for their respective choice of aspirants.
The bloody violence in which all manner of weapons were freely used, including broken bottles, cutlasses, knives and charms could have led to loss of lives except for the quick intervention of the police and other law enforcement agencies on ground.
Even as the police used tear gas to repel elements seen as hired thugs, cultists and militants, a number of the victims loyal to Alaibe complained bitterly that they were stabbed by Sylva’s men.
All efforts by the Adams Oshiomhole committee responsible for the conduct of the primary election to save the day proved abortive as Alaibe, in company of his close associates, left the venue in obvious protest of the situation. Many of his supporters were also seen joining him in their mass exit from the Samson Siasia stadium venue.
Alaibe was said to be getting ready to address a press conference on the issue later today.
Meanwhile, our findings also indicated that some of the governorship aspirants have stepped down for the former governor, Timipre Sylva. As at the time of filing this report, Sylva was leading in the number of votes cast and likely to emerge winner.
Special Assistant to the
Governor of Bayelsa State
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