Violence has engulfed the ongoing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary in Gombe State.
A source at the Banquet hall of the Government House told PREMIUM TIMES that delegates gathered at the venue to affirm an aspirant, Jamilu Isiyaku, who was the preferred candidate of Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, before one of the other aspirants, Bayero Nafada, “came into the hall and disrupted the proceedings.”
Our source said Mr Dankwambo had earlier endorsed Mr Nafada as his preferred candidate before changing his mind following resistance from other aspirants.
“Following the resistance, the governor extended his consultation to religious leaders (both Muslim and Christian) and he finally changed his mind and endorsed Jamilu Gwamna,” our source said.
He also said all delegates arrived the Government House Hall to affirm Mr Jamilu; but the arrival of Mr Bayero, who was not around when the decision was taken, altered the entire proceeding.
“As soon as Bayero came in, the governor stood up. Imagine, a whole governor standing up on arrival of a senator, and Bayero just called the governor outside where they discussed for a few minutes.
“He then came back into the hall and announced that he just confirmed from Governor Dankwambo that he did not endorse any candidate. He also ordered his thugs to beat anyone who claims the governor has endorsed him.”
Mr Nafada, according to another source, thereafter insisted that election must hold and “openly told the delegates that he is seeking for their votes in exchange for a huge favour from him.”
We gathered that a decision was finally taken to conduct election since consensus arrangement has failed.
“The governor was the first to cast his ballot and the election was going smoothly; and all of a sudden a fight broke out.
“Delegates from Akko Local Government Area were casting their votes when heated argument erupted among them which led some political thugs to disrupt the election.
“The thugs came in, seized and destroyed the ballot boxes and began throwing chairs around. The governor has already left to his resident and I am not sure any election will hold today,” said the source.