September 5, 2021

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Guns boom as APC Council Congresses turn violent in Niger; Election Committee Chair, others escape death in Adamawa

Posted by News Express | 5 September 2021 | 105 times

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Gunshots were fired for about 30 minutes Saturday night in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State, as the Congress of the All Progressives Congress turned violent.

A source reported hearing gunshots for up to half an hour around midnight on Saturday.

“But we don’t know if anyone was shot,” he said.

Sources have disclosed that violence broke out between two factions of the APC in the area – one in support of Abubakar Magaji, the other for education commissioner Hannatu Salihu.

Another source said a contender for the chairmanship, identified Achitukpa, was beaten by members of the rival faction after he was caught thumb-printing ballots in the back of the secretariat.

Another source said a contender for the chairmanship, identified Achitukpa, was beaten by members of the rival faction after he was caught thumb-printing ballots in the back of the secretariat.

Also in Gbako and Agaie Local Government areas, fights broke out midway to the end of the congress.

A delegate from Agaie told Daily Trust that there were cases of vote buying, leading to fights between supporters.

“Delegates were given between N10,000 and N20,000 by contestants to vote for them which led to fights among supporters,” he said.

In Gbako, delegates from Etsu-Audu ward could not cast their vote following the crisis that rocked the congress midway.

“Supporters were engaged in physical fights. Delegates from Etsu Audu couldn’t vote,” one source said.

The Chairman, Niger State APC Congress Committee, Senator Domigo Obende in a statement called on party members to shun violence of any form during congress.

The areas where violence marred voting are to have their congresses concluded on Sunday.

Elsewhere in Adamawa State, the APC local government congress in ended in fracas as aggrieved party members from Yola North and Yola South local government areas of the state condemned the distribution of election material to members who were not supposed to handle the materials. 

Chairman of the committee sent to conduct the sharing and deployment of the sensitive materials, Professor Umar Katsayal, and his team almost got lynched when they were about to leave the party secretariat by angry youths who demanded their election materials for their zone. The youths, in their hundreds, stormed the party secretariat shouting ‘we need justice’ and accused officials of the Department of State Service (DSS) and the congress committee of conniving to divert the congress materials. 

The DSS official was said to have shot into the air to disperse the angry youths. A serving senator representing Adamawa Central, Ashaitu Ahamed Binani, openly railed against the composition of congress committee members which he said was lopsided. 

“I am not comfortable with the composition of the committee sent to conduct the congress in my zone,” he said. 

Following the Senator’s comment, a pandemonium ensued, leading to a free for all which led to the secretary of the electoral committee, Mr Birtus Agbess, ordering the security operatives to collect the video footage of the event and delete it. 

As of the time of filing this result, there was no sign of an election taking place anywhere in the state capital. 

Senator Binani expressed surprise that the venue of the congress was unknown to him at the time of filing this report. 

Other stakeholders in the party were said to have held their own congress at different venues. One of the aggrieved members of the party in the state described the congress as a scam, calling on the party’s national leadership to address the matter to prevent it from escalating. (Based on reports by Daily Trust and Nigerian Tribune)

Source: News Express

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