Violence mars PDP congress in Niger
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) State Congress in Niger, slated for Saturday, has been postponed due to violence that stalled the exercise.
Thugs suspected to be loyal to two top state chairmanship contenders had engaged in a free-for-all leading to the cancellation of the congress.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that trouble started when former Deputy Leader in the House of Representatives, Baba Agaie, was manhandled and whisked out of the venue of the congress by heavily armed security men.
NAN noticed that as early as 7 a.m., the PDP state secretariat at Western Bypass in Minna had been taken over by supporters of the two contenders despite heavy security presence.
It was gathered that Mr Agaie was beaten by some party faithful suspected to be from his own Agaie Local Government Area.
The party supporters accused Mr Agaie of sabotaging their collective interest, alleging that he aligned with the former governor and leader of the party, Babangida Aliyu-led group.
However, when the atmosphere became tensed for any congress to hold, the electoral committee, led by Mohammed Imam from the party’s national headquarters, had to be whisked away by security agents.
NAN reports that following the confusion, the electoral committee issued a statement in Minna on Saturday signed by Mr Imam.
According to Mr Imam, due to uncertain security situation at the PDP state secretariat, venue of the rescheduled state congress, slated for today, Sept. 12, the congress has been postponed.
He said the congress was postponed after unsuccessful attempts were made to get the thousands of party supporters and other persons gathered at the precinct of the venue to disperse before the commencement of the voting process.
He said that the committee would report to the National Working Committee (NEC) which would determine the next line of action in accordance with the constitution of the party.
NAN reports that the two main contenders were, Tanko Benji, outgoing chairman of the party seeking a second term, and Mukhtar Ahmed.
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