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Crisis mar PDP primaries in Ogun

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The House of Representatives and State Assembly primary elections of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun were marred by delay and violence on Sunday .

The exercise had been scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., but as of 6:45 p.m., elections were yet to start at the four designated centers for the three federal constituencies in Ogun Central.

Ogun Central consists of six local governments; Abeokuta North, Abeokuta South, Odeda, Ewekoro, Obafemi Owode, and Ifo local governments

The party members disagreed over the list of delegates and other allegations of manipulation.

The process did not start on time, despite the heavy presence of security operatives including Mobile Policemen, men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Department of State Services at the centres.

It was already dark when party officials eventually arrived the voting point, forcing them to move the process to the party secretariat.

Earlier at Ogboni Ijeja, venue of the primary for Abeokuta South Constituency II, a PDP member, Abimbola Ademuyiwa, said there was disagreement by party members which turned chaotic amongst supporters of the various aspirants.

Ademuyiwa added that only 24 delegates were expected to vote to choose the party’s House of Assembly candidate out of three aspirants, but the fight had caused the delay.

The situation was the same at the Centenary Hall, Ake, venue of the primary for the Abeokuta I.

For Odeda Local Government, it was gathered that the exercise could not hold at the designated point at Eweje Town because the name of one of the four aspirants was missing on the ballot.

Supporters, delegates, and leaders of the party, however, gathered at the state secretariat at NNPC junction, and were deliberating on the next step, as of 6:30pm.

When contacted over the phone, the state publicity secretary, Akinloye Bankole, agreed that there were hiccups but emphasised that, “that was not enough to rubbish the whole process.”

When journalists also asked the party’s secretary, Sunday Solarin, why the election is taking place at the party secretariat, he attributed it to “circumstances.”

“The process that was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. did not start until around past 5:00 p.m. and before accreditation and all was done time has gone and there is no electricity at those centers, So we have to come here,” he said.

“The protection of lives and properties is very important to us.”

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