…as security agents confiscate journalists’ cameras
Ben peters, Abuja
Hell was let loose on Sunday evening at Edo State Labour Party secretariat, Benin, as hundreds of the party youths protested against the party national chairman, Barrister Julius Abure.
The angry youths who besieged the state party secretariat, accused Abure of alleged support for some aspirants ahead of the party governorship primary to be held later this month.
The angry youths who carried placards bearing different inscriptions chanted, “Abure must go; Abure must go.”
They were, however, prevented from entering the building by security operatives, who confiscated video cameras belonging to two national television stations who were recording the protest.
It took the intervention of the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State council, Comrade Festus Alenkhe before the cameras were retrieved from the overzealous security operatives.
The protesting youths alleged that the national chairman has compromised his position and therefore should not be allowed to superintend over the party primary.
One of the protesters who gave his name as Imafidon Emmanuel, said the chairman is dragging the party’s name to the mud, wondering why he will say that the executive will not be part of the primary.
“Why would a national chairman of the party say that the executive will not be part of the primary? Who does he want to participate? What it means is that he already has a candidate of his choice. Which is very wrong.
“We want everybody to participate. We want a free and fair primary. We don’t want Abure to influence the primary. Whoever emerges as the candidate of the party, should be allowed to be the candidate.”
Another protester, Comrade Johnson Edobor, who spoke in pidgin English said, “We want peace in Labour Party. We don’t want the national chairman again. The national chairman is giving us problem. We don’t need him again in Edo State . We don’t want to sell the ticket. We have been losing elections in other states. We don’t want to lose Edo State too.”
It was gathered that the Labour Party national chairman convened the meeting ahead the party primary election, but the protest interrupted the meeting.
Speaking through the telephone, the state chairman of Labour Party, Comrade Kelly Ogbaloi said: “People came protesting, with dangerous weapons in their hands, and what they told the press was that they are protesting because they were informed that the primary will not be free and fair and they came to attack us and for over two hours,we were under siege,we were kept under protection by some security operatives. That was why we were not within their reach.”