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Bayelsa: Bloody Clashes at APC Primary As Oshiomhole, Alaibe Escape Death

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The Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, venue of the All Progressives

Congress (APC) governorship primary, was turned to a battle ground today

as supporters of two leading governorship aspirants, Ndutimi Alaibe and

Timipre Sylva engaged themselves in violent clashes which left scores,

including Alaibe, injured. It was a pathetic sight to see a political

event reduced to a combat.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole who is the Chairman of the APC Primary Committee

was swiftly whisked out of the venue when attackers were suspected to be

heading towards him.
Investigations revealed that trouble started when it was discovered by

Alaibe and his supporters that accredited delegates from Brass, the local

government of his arch-rival, Sylva, were far more than all delegates from

the other local governments combined.  It was in a bid to challenge what

was seen as an anomaly by Alaibe and his supporters that a heated argument

ensued resulting in a free- for- all fight between the opposing camps.

In the process, Alaibe and many others sustained injuries. To demonstrate

his anger and disapproval of the electoral process, Alaibe was also said

to have stormed out of the venue with his supporters in protest.

Further investigation showed that many of those who participated in the

fracas were ordinarily not supposed to attend the primary because they

were not delegates but came as an organized party of thugs and militants

on both sides of Alaibe and Sylva to drum support for their respective

choice of aspirants.
The bloody violence in which all manner of weapons were freely used,

including broken bottles, cutlasses, knives and charms could have led to

loss of lives except for the quick intervention of the police and other

law enforcement agencies on ground.
Even as the police used tear gas to repel elements seen as hired thugs,

cultists and militants, a number of the victims loyal to Alaibe complained

bitterly that they were stabbed by Sylva's men.
All efforts by the Adams Oshiomhole committee responsible for the conduct

of the primary election to save the day proved abortive as Alaibe, in

company of his close associates, left the venue in obvious protest of the

situation. Many of his supporters were also seen joining him in their

mass exit from the Samson Siasia stadium venue.
Alaibe was said to be getting ready to address a press conference on the

issue later today.
Meanwhile, our findings also indicated that some of the governorship

aspirants have stepped down for the former governor, Timipre Sylva. As at

the time of filing this report, Sylva was leading in the number of votes

cast and likely to emerge winner.
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