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Felix Okoye 


The venue of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary for Bayelsa election, Samson Sisia Stadium in Yenagoa was on Tuesday turned to a battle field as supporters of two leading governorship aspirants, Timi Alaibe and Timipre Sylva engaged themselves in violent clashes which left scores, including Alaibe, injured. 

An eye-witness informed NigerianEcho, “It was a pathetic sight to see a political event reduced to a combat”.

According to an APC delegate, trouble started when it was discovered by Alaibe and his supporters that accredited delegates from Brass, the LG of his arch-rival, Sylva, were far more than all delegates from the other LGs combined and in a bid to challenge what was seen as an anomaly by Alaibe and his supporters a heated argument ensued.

As a result, the supporters of Alaibe and Sylva engaged in a free- for- all fight and Alaibe and many others sustained injuries. 

To demonstrate his anger and disapproval of the electoral process, Alaibe was said to have stormed out of the venue with his supporters in protest.

NigerianEcho checks 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 organised party thugs and militants on both sides to drum support for their respective choice of aspirants.

Security agents, it was learnt prevent the bloody violence in which all manner of weapons were freely used, including broken bottles, cutlasses, knives and charms from having a casualty.  

Police used tear gas to repel two factions militants. 

However, victims of the fracas 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, 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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