A dynamite explosion, sporadic gunshots and pockets of protests on Saturday (today) marred the conduct of the ward congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Ad-hoc delegate election in the 105 wards of Bayelsa State.
While the dynamite explosion and sporadic gunshots were heared a few meters away from the State Secretariat along Lambert Eradiri road, protesters against the conduct of the Ad-hoc delegate election barricaded the entrance of the Party Secretariat.
According to reports, despite the fact that the PDP Secretariat was condoned off by heavy presence of soldiers and combatant policemen, the contending groups within the party still mobilised hundreds of suspected thugs and cultists to the venue.
While some eyewitnesses claimed the Chairman of the Ward Congresses Electoral Committee for the Conduct of Ad-Hoc Delegate Election, Governor David Umahi had left the PDP Secretariat for Former President Goodluck Jonathan residence after the distribution of election materials.
Others claimed the dynamite explosion caused the crowd of agitated party supporters to scamper for safety while Governor David Umahi and other member of the committee left the Secretariat.
Contacted on the incident, the State Publicity secretary, Barr. Osom Macgbere said the incident does not have anything to do with the congress, ‘I was told the dynamite explosion occurs few meters away from the party Secretariat.’
But a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and State Commissioner of Information, Hon. Daniel Iworiso-Markson hailed the peacful conduct of the party’s ward congress across the 105 wards in the state.
Iworiso-Markson, who took part in the excercise in his Ward 11 Opume community in Ogbia local government area, said the reports from all other wards in the state also indicated that the congress was peaceful and without any form of manipulation.
He commended the Governor Dave Umahi led committee for ensuring that the process was transparent, fair and credible and also thanked officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who were on ground to monitor the ward delegate congress.
“I want to commend the PDP national team from Abuja led by Engineer Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State who worked so hard to ensure we have a peaceful congress today. I also commend members of our party for their conduct and officials of INEC.
“Just few days ago, I issued a statement to say that the governorship primary will be peaceful and today that process has started and we hope that it will continue and climax with victory for our party on November 16, 2019”.
Iworiso-Markson also congratulated Williams Adike, Joy Otobo and Johnbull Azibataman on their emergence as delegates from ward 11 that will vote in the September 3 governorship primary.
On his part, the leader of the INEC team that monitored the ward 11 election in Ogbia, Mr. Joseph Omiloli said he saw democracy at its best in the ward election and urged members of the PDP to sustain the peaceful attitude as they move towards electing a candidate to fly their flag in the governorship poll.
Earlier, the PDP national committee for the ward congress led by the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi had set up a 3 man electoral committee in each of the 105 wards to conduct the adhoc delegates' election.
According to Umahi, it was the right thing to do in order for the party to enable a level playing ground for all members, adding that the election of adhoc delegates was in the interest of the party ahead of the primary and the governorship election.
He advised members of the party to desist from violence and praised Governor Seriake Dickson for his magnanimity and the quality of his leadership style which has transformed the state for good.
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