Violence Mars PDP Congress in Niger

The Peoples Democratic Party Congress in Niger State has been postponed after violence broke out during 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 on Saturday.

NAN reports that trouble started when former Deputy Leader in the House of Representatives, Alhaji Baba Agaie, was manhandled and whisked out of the venue of the congress by heavily armed security men.

As early as 7 a.m., the PDP secretariat at Western Bypass in Minna had been taken over by supporters of the two contenders despite heavy security presence.

It was gathered that Agaie was attacked by some party faithful suspected to be from Agaie Local Government Area.

The party supporters accused Agaie of sabotaging their collective interest, alleging that he aligned with the former governor and leader of the party, Dr Babangida Aliyu-led group.

However, when the atmosphere became tensed for any congress to hold, the electoral committee members, led by Malam Mohammed Imam from the party’s National Headquarters, were whisked away by security agents.

Following the confusion, the electoral committee issued a statement in Minna on Saturday signed by Imam, stating that “due to an uncertain security situation at the PDP state secretariat, venue of the state congress, slated for today, September 12, the congress has been postponed.

“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 the committee would report to the National Working Committee of the PDP, which would determine the next line of action in accordance with the constitution of the party.

The two main contenders are Mr Tanko Benji, the outgoing chairman of the party who is seeking a second term, and Alhaji Mukhtar Ahmed.

(NAN)

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