Police averted a major crisis on Monday as protests rocked the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja.
Some political thugs loyal to the Kogi State Governor, Yahya Bello, stormed the place in the early morning and harassed journalists at the scene.
The thugs, who came on the information that some people were coming to stage a protest against the governor’s interest, got agitated on sighting journalists.
The Kogi State APC Chairman, Abdullahi Bello, who was in the crowd of the protesters, led the assault and accused journalists of taking bribes to have gathered to cover the anti-Bello protest.
His attempt to snatch the mobile phone of a journalist who he suspected was taking pictures met stiff resistance from other journalists.
Taken aback by the resistance, Bello threatened to deal with the journalists and resorted to hurling insults on them.
It took the timely intervention of security men at the secretariat who prevented the thugs from gaining entrance to bring the situation under control.
The thugs did not spare commuters passing by while the tension raged.
The Federal Capital Territory Police Command quickly mobilised riot policemen to the secretariat to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
After the agitators were dispersed, some governorship aspirants under the aegis of Kogi State APC Governorship Aspirants Forum staged a protest at the secretariat.
They expressed their displeasure at the indirect primary adopted by the National Working Committee of the APC for the November 2 governorship election in Kogi State.
In a letter addressed to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the forum warned that the indirect primary adopted by the party would have serious negative consequence on the fortune of the party in the state.
The spokesperson for the forum, Mohammed Ali, expressed concerns that the decision to protest against the decision was taken at a meeting held on Sunday and attended by 20 governorship aspirants.
He said, “The planned adoption of the indirect party primary is inherent with serious negative consequences for the fortune of the party in Kogi State.
“We regret to observe that such decision was taken without adequate consultation with critical stakeholders of the party in the state especially the governorship aspirants on the platform of the party and other contending groups in the polarised structure of the party in the state.
“The decision to adopt an indirect primary by the National Working Committee is fraught with severe implications. First, contrary to the information given to the National Working Committee, there is a suit pending in Abuja court seeking to determine the authentic executive of the party in the state (see attached).
“As a matter of fact, at the last hearing, the suit was adjourned till October 2, 2019. Second, arising from the pendency of the various suits to determine the legitimate party executive council in the state, the use of any factional delegate list may amount to an exercise in futility. And lastly, we may have unconsciously set a booby-trap for our party and the stage for the replay of the unfortunate Zamfara scenario.”
The aspirants also expressed sadness over the selective approach of the National Working Committee in treating the primary election in Kogi State in isolation of that of Bayelsa State.
The governorship aspirants include Aliyu Zakari-Jiya, Dr Tim Diche, Alhaji Yusuf Haruna, Admiral Usman Jibrin (retd.), Alhaji Mohammed Audu, Alhaji Mohammed Ali, Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi, AlhajiJibrin Haruna Mohammed, AIhaji Yakubu Mohammed.
Others are Sheikh Ibrahim Jibril, Chief Momoh Y. Obaro, Prince Sani H. Shuaibu, Comrade Gowon Egbunu, Prince Sanni Shuaibu, Prince Mustapha Mona Audu, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Aruwa, Gen. Akpa Patrick, Engr. Sunday Edibo, Khalid Adams and Yusuf Ali.