By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKAâ€”Supporters of some of the governorship aspirants engaged their opponents in physical combat over allegation that money was changing hands while they were waiting for officials of the congress committee to arrive at the just concluded ward congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra state, yesterday with some of the party members calling for the cancellation of the exercise.
Places that recorded some forms of violence included Enugu Nanka Ward 2, Ajali Ward 3 all in Orumba and Nimo Ward in Njikoka Local Government Area.
Though there was large turnout of members of the party in almost all the 326 wards in the state as early as 8 am, information that was circulated that the exercise had been shifted from 11 am to 4 pm and that venues of the congress in many wards were changed, created further confusion in many areas.
For instance, the coordinator of one of the frontline governorship aspirants in Ihiala, whose name was given as Afam Onumkwo, was thoroughly beaten for allegedly trying to convince some of the party members to vote for a delegate aspirant for his Ogboro ward 5 in the area.
Onunkwo, whose dress was torn to shreds, told Vanguard that he also lost N10,000, his PDP membership card and a handset, though the handset was later recovered.
He also complained that some people came to the venue of the congress to say that it was moved from Uzoigwe Primary School, which had been their traditional voting place, to St Stephenâ€™s Primary, which is in another ward.
Coordinator of the Soludo Campaign Organisation for Orumba, Mr. Emma Ezume said the change of venue was not part of the original arrangement, adding that his group would not accept the outcome of the exercise if it was not transparent.
However, a group of youths under the aegis of G 11, at a press conference in Awka, yesterday said that from what was on ground, most eligible delegates were disenfranchised because they could not afford the N10,000 charged ward delegates aspirants, adding that some money bags bought as many as 3000 forms,Â which they alleged was part of the rigging ploy.