Primaries: Anti-Oshiomhole Protests Ground APC National Secretariat

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Activities at the national secretariat complex of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) were brought to a halt on Monday as protesters from various states took over the premises in protest against the outcome of the party’s governorship and National Assembly primaries.

The APC, which completed series of primary elections on Sunday in line with the timetable drawn by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), met more than what it bargained as the protesters halted movement along the Blantyre Street where the party secretariat is located.

Even as the national chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was inaugurating the party’s Elections Appeal Panel headed by the former governor of Edo State, Prof. Oserheimen Aigberaodion Osunbor, to address issues arising from the primaries, the protesters seized the APC secretariat, making it impossible for people to get in or move out of the premises.

Among the most vocal protesters were those from Kano, Niger, Nasarawa and Enugu States. They barricaded the party’s entrance gate as well as the adjoining streets.

As the tension rose, security details attached Oshiomhole were seen battling to seek ways to smuggle him and other NWC members out of the premises, but it was impossible as the protesters increased in their numbers and seized everywhere.

Some of them became unruly chanting several anti-Oshiomhole songs, and displaying derogatory placards with inscriptions such as “Oshiomhole, Barau” (Oshiomhole a thief), demanding a reversal of the senatorial mandate of their sponsors.

Some protesters from Niger State, who spoke with ORIENTAL TIMES claimed that their candidate, Sani Haruna won what they called the Niger State Zone 3 Senatorial District election having won in eight of the nine local government areas, insisting that Oshiomhole approved the rigging out of their candidate.

Similarly, protesters from Kano State, who called Oshiomhole several derogatory names in Hausa language, insisted that the party must remove Senator Kabiru Gaya (a former governor in the state), from the list sent to INEC, stressing that he was not their choice at the primary.

While all these lasted, human and vehicular movement around the area was completely locked down, despite appeals by the security operatives for them to disperse.

The NWC members and journalists were held up at the party’s secretariat. Those who managed to sneak outside were unable to move their cars out of the place as the entire surrounding was kept under siege.

Sources informed our correspondent that the protesters arrived the secretariat at about 6.30pm, tried to force their ways into the premises but for the quick intervention of the police and other security personnel posted to the place.

Not succeeding, they resorted to chanting anti-Oshiomhole songs and even touched some vehicles parked by visitors and some journalists.

Even with increased police presence, the protesters continued to barricade the street, halting people in adjourning residential and business premises, and even the ECWA Church, from gaining access to their premises.

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