Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in Gombe State ended in chaos, after angry party members and thugs invaded the banquet hall of the Gombe state government house, venue of the exercise and smashed ballot boxes and seats.
All efforts by security operatives to calm the situation yielded no result as delegates and supporters of the aspirants join in protesting the process as the venue of the exercise became rowdy.
The disruption took place after Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, his deputy Charles Iliya, the party chairman Bar. Joel Jagafa and some statutory delegates had voted.
Timely intervention of security agents saved the situation from becoming violent.
An account linked the crisis to attempt by the governor chief of staff Ahmed Yayari, he was accused of trying to manipulate the process by intimidating delegates at the venue.
Another account revealed that the fight erupted between delegates of different candidates when they discovered that Jamil Isyaku Gwamna, who was said to be Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo candidate might eventually emerge the winner through a “planned consensus” arrangement.
The tension was heightened when one of the aspirants, Bayero Nafada, who arrived the venue late, went straight to the Governor and harassed him, asking him that “was this part of our arrangement.”
The Governor in an effort to save himself from being further embarrassed drew, Nafada, who is a serving Senator to the vestry.
On returning from the vestry, after discussing with the Governor for about 5 minutes, Nafada, told the delegates that he just confirmed from Governor Dankwambo that he did not endorse any candidate and ordered his thugs to beat anyone who claims the governor has endorsed him.
A source closed to the party leadership said Governor Dankwambo had earlier endorsed Nafada as his preferred candidate before changing his mind, following resistance from the state party leadership and the other aspirants.
“Following the resistance, the governor extended his consultation to the party leaders and religious leaders (both Muslim and Christian) and he decided to changed his mind and endorsed Jamilu Gwamna based on his acceptability and marketability,” our source said.
Our source also said the action of Nafada shows awful disrespect for the office he is vying for.
“As soon as Bayero came in, the governor stood up. Imagine, a whole governor standing up on arrival of a senator, and Bayero harassed him.”
Our Correspondent reports that as the primary take place today feelers are of the view that the battle will be between Bayero Nafada and Isyaku Gwamna.