Friday, 5 December 2014

Benue Boils Over APC Primaries

Reports say Makurdi, the Benue State capital, came to a standstill on Thursday as a result of a free for all that ensued between top officials of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the party’s secretariat in the state capital.

According to an online report by Vanguard, the crisis led to the confiscation of primary election materials by an unidentified House of Assembly aspirants.

It was disclosed that the aspirant, after seizing the primaries materials at the APC secretariat, burnt them thereby rendering the exercise with no result.

One of the victims of the crisis, Mike Utsaha, who is an aspirant to the state’s House of Assembly, explained: “I saw a Hilux van drive into the secretariat that was initially restricted only for aspirants and delegates.

“It was at that same time that I saw the state chairman coming down from his office upstairs.

“He started shouting and went straight to where the electoral committee members were. He forcefully grabbed the electoral materials, tore them in shreds and ordered everybody out of the secretariat.”

He further added:“One of the female members of the committee who attempted to protest was pounced upon by the thugs that accompanied the chairman.

“I started recording everything that was happening and in the process, one of the boys informed the chairman of my action.

“The chairman violently approached me and hit me on the mouth insisting I must give him my iPhone. When I resisted, he directed the boys to ensure they took the phone from me. I was beaten up mercilessly same for some other persons.”

Another source, who claimed to be at the secretariat when the incident happened, confirmed the incident, adding that but for the intervention of police officers at the secretariat, who shot in the air for several times, the fight would have escalated.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the state chairman of the APC, Abba Yaro, at the time of this report, failed as his mobile phones were switched off.

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