By Peter Duru
MAKURDI – Benue State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Emmanuel Agbo, yesterday, escaped death by the whisker, when aggrieved members and delegates of the party from Okpokwu Local Government Area, descended on him. Security operatives rescued him.
Vanguard gathered from angry party members that the chairman’s offence was his alleged manipulation of the party’s primaries for chairmanship candidate for Okpokwu Council in the forthcoming council elections in the state, which they said he skewed in favour of his younger brother, Mr. Sunday Agbo.
It was gathered that the delegates had arrived the Aper Aku Stadium venue of the primaries, but were refused entry to the venue, while the state party chairman also brought a different list of delegates of 22, instead of the authentic 92 delegates with which he conducted the primaries.
This alleged ‘kangaroo’ election drew the ire of the delegates, who defied the presence of security men and wanted to lynch Mr. Agbo, before he was whisked out of the venue.
The delegates later stormed the state government secretariat with some of them bearing placards that read: Agbo, you are killing our party; State party chairman cannot impose his younger brother on us as chairman of local government; National Secretariat please save Benue PDP from disintegrating, among others.
Efforts to calm the delegates by security operatives, who barricaded the entrance to Government House, were rebuffed as the protesters demanded that Governor Gabriel Suswam should address them.
The protesters chanted war songs when political leaders from the council, including Chief Obande Obeya, former member of state assembly, Maria Aikulola and others joined them.
Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, who later arrived from Abuja, was able to calm the protesters and directed them to move to his residence, while he also went inside to meet with the Governor.