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Explosion rocks Bayelsa PDP secretariat

Posted by By Bisi Olaniyi and John Ameh on 2006/11/27 | Views: 752 |

Explosion rocks Bayelsa PDP secretariat

The Bayelsa State secretariat of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, located in the Yenizue-Gene area of Yenagoa, was on Saturday night rocked by an explosion.

The Bayelsa State secretariat of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, located in the Yenizue-Gene area of Yenagoa, was on Saturday night rocked by an explosion.

Although no official reason has been given for the explosion, our correspondents gathered that youths said to be supporters of some of the aspirants whose names were not on the harmonisation list of the state House of Assembly and House of Representatives’ primaries, were behind the incident.

A resident, who pleaded anonymity, claimed that some of the youths threw a dynamite into the two-storey building.

The first floor of the building was badly damaged. Furniture items, office equipment and other valuables worth millions of naira, were also destroyed.

The PDP youth leader and former publicity secretary, Mr. Esueme Kikile, whose office was among those affected, described the incident as unfortunate.

Another office affected was that of the Treasurer, Mr. Felix Omemu.

The asbestos ceiling on the second floor where Omemu’s office is located, was also destroyed.

When one of our correspondents visited the area, riot policemen had cordoned off the secretariat,

The Commissioner of Police, in the state command, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, said that investigations into the incident were going on.

The damage to the secretariat came less than 72 hours before the resumption date of the state’s party Chairman, Mr. Fred Agbedi.

Agbedi had been suspended for three months, on August 28, by the National Executive Committee of the PDP.

Besides the aspirants showing displeasure over the harmonisation of the lists, unconformed reports had it that those behind the explosion did not want Agbedi to return as chairman.

Our correspondent learnt that the tension in the Bayelsa PDP over the primaries was because the 24 members of the state‘s House of Assembly had allegedly been assured re-election, but with the harmonisation, only 10 of them got their tickets.

And in Anambra State, eight people, including a police inspector, were injured when the primaries to elect PDP candidates for the House of Representatives turned violent.

Investigations showed that the elections, which were delayed for many hours in some local governments, became violent after the electorate resisted attempts by influential politicians to impose aspirants on the constituencies.

A very top official of the party was alleged to have fuelled the violence in some areas by attempting to protect the interests of some aspirants.

He was accused of having collected unspecified sums of money from certain aspirants with a promise to give them the tickets of their constituencies.

When contacted on Sunday, however, the official blamed the violence on ”moneybags who think that they can buy voters and impose candidates on the people at all costs.”

Our correspondents gathered that the flashpoints were Njikoka/Anaocha/ Dunukofia; Awka-South/Awka-North; Nnewi-North/Nnewi-South; and Ihiala Federal Constituencies, where politicians allegedly engaged the services of suspected cultists and miscreants to intimidate opponents.

At Njikoka, where Uche Ekwunife, Nkechi Mba and Newton Illoegbunam contested the primaries, seven persons were reportedly injured after protests marred the voting.

Some delegates were said to have complained that a wrong register was presented for the election, following which suspected cultists invaded the venue of the poll, shooting indiscriminately.

At the Women Development Centre, Awka, the venue for the Awka-North/Awka-South constituency primaries, protesters allegedly inflicted machete cuts on a police inspector after violence broke out.

Investigations revealed that trouble started after some delegates were reportedly ”smuggled” into the venue in a bid to swell the votes of a favoured contestant.

The police at a point resorted to firing tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters before normalcy was restored.

At Ihiala, the poll went on in spite of open hostilities between the supporters of a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Chuma Nzeribe, and one of his two challengers, Mr. Vitalis Okafor.

In Ukpor, Nnewi-South, the police were alleged to have ordered the venue of the primaries shut for insecurity reasons.

The Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Command, Mr. Haruna John, confirmed that the primaries were disrupted in some areas due to violence.

John said, ”The violence at Njikoka, for example, was caused by persons believed to be cultists employed to cause confusion.

”We actually have one suspected cultist in our custody for engaging himself in such misbehaviour.

”Investigations are ongoing, and while we advise politicians to conduct themselves lawfully, we must also assure them that we have a duty to protect lives and property.”

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown