APC suspends Primaries in Taraba over alleged shooting of electoral officer
Jethro Yerga, Jalingo
The Electoral Committee in charge of the Primary Elections of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Taraba State, Thursday, suspended indefinitely all the primary elections of the party in the state, following disagreement between the various aspirants of different positions in the party on the right mode to be used for the elections and the subsequent alleged shooting of one of the Electoral Committee members.
Briefing newsmen at the Taraba State Police Headquatters Jalingo, the chairman of the Electoral Committee, Mr. Lawrence Onuchukwu who was not in the right frame of mind and only managed to feed few questions from journalists, said apart from shooting one of his members, the committee had confronted several other issues which must be sorted out before the election would be conducted.
“As you can see, I am not in a good state of mind. I came all the way from the National Headquatters of the party to perform this all important function to the best of my ability but it is quite unfortunate that the stakeholders and the aspirants had failed to agree on one position as to which mode we should use in conducting this election.
“We therefore, bring the election to a hold. I am seriously saddened because, as am speaking to you, one of my members was shot at Kpanti- Napu, a village in Yorro Local Government Area of Taraba State. He is now excruciating in pains at the hospital. I must tell you that I am not in the right frame of mind”. He stated briskly and left the press.
For the elections alleged to have been conducted in some of the Local Government Areas in the state, the chairman said he did not approved any election to be conducted any where in the state so they remain null and void.
When contacted, the Taraba State Commissioner of Police CP Abimbola Shokoya, confirmed the attack on the Electoral Committee Member. He however said, the member in question was not shot but was only hit on the head by some yet to be identify youth who left him with serious injury on the head.
“Yes the Taraba State Police Command is investigating a case of one Barrister Romeo Braima who was attacked at Kpanti – Napu, a village in Yorro Local Government Area of Taraba State Thursday evening.
“The lawyer was actually hit on the head. He was not shot as people are alleging. Though he sustained serious injury on the head. The attackers were asking him to provide the result sheets of the primary elections slated to be conducted Thursday in the state.
“We are however, on top of the matter. Presently he is receiving treatment in a hospital in Jalingo. We are monitoring the treatment and we believe he will recuperate soon”. He explained.
At the time of compiling this report, some irrate youth suspected to be loyal to some of the governorship aspirants on the platform of the party in the state, stormed the Police Headquatters demanding that the chairman of the electoral committee must produce the originals of the result sheets of the election.
One of the youths who identified himself as Bala Abdulhazee from Wukari, said the committee had compromized by conniving with some of the aspirants to rig the elections and therefore, they no longer have confidence in them.
It was gathered that Stakeholders of the party after a meeting with the APC Electoral Committee and the state commissioner of police Thursday evening, agreed that the primary election should be put on hold.
The meeting was at the instance of the Deputy National Woman Leader Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim on her arrival from Abuja.
Recall that a Committee of five, headed by Chief Lawrence Onuchukwu, the campaign coordinator and close political ally to APC’s National Chairman, Sen Abdullahi Adamu, are in the State to oversee conduct of APC Primaries.