APC Convention: Stampede as delegates, others struggle to gain access into Eagle Square

** Chased out of Eagle Square

**Traffic snarls worsen over closure of access routes to Eagle Square

By Clifford Ndujihe, Politics Editor

Local and foreign journalists, who had indicated interest in covering the Special Convention and Presidential Primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, are currently stranded as they cannot access the Eagle Square venue of the event.

Some of them, who went to Eagle Square in the morning were barred from accessing the venue by heavily armed and stern-looking security agents.

Most of the journalists, who travelled into Abuja for the exercise said they had not been issued accreditation tags as of 10:30am on Tuesday. The convention was slated to start at 10am.

Accredited journalists covering activities of the APC are equally stranded as they have not been given tags to cover the convention.

Some journalists, who were eager to get the tags were made to shuttle, amid heavy traffic gridlock,

between the International Conference Centre, ICC, where delegates are to be accredited; and the Old Parade Ground where the Media Committee of the Convention Planning Committee had an office, to no avail.

They also trooped to the Party National Headquarters where they were still waiting for the tags as of 11 am.

Unlike the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP which issued tags to reporters on convention day and then formally conveyed them in party vehicles to the convention grounds, the ruling APC had often left journalists to struggle to access the venue.

While the tags usually come late, journalists often had to battle thugs and unfriendly security operatives to access the convention grounds.

At the March 26 national convention of the party, several journalists lost their phones and some were tear-gassed by security operatives as they struggled to enter the venue.

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