The protest, which was initially peaceful, later went out of control, when the angry crowd tried to take control of the entrance of the secretariat gate
Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) national secretariat in Abuja, was a battleground, yesterday, when angry some youths and stakeholders from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), disrupted activities, barricaded the street and entrance, and chased away staff and a handful of security operatives on duty.
The protesters, who alleged attempts to impose candidates by the national leadership of the party, during the senatorial and House of Representatives primaries held, yesterday, called for the immediate resignation of the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Displaying posters with various inscriptions like ‘Oshiomhole stay clear of FCT primaries; We want indirect primaries; Oshiomhole, leadership is not activism; and Oshiomhole destroying APC,’ among others, the protesters went violent and destroyed billboards, barricaded the major road and caused traffic gridlock.
The irate crowd, who had stormed the national secretariat in the early hours of yesterday, defied the security agents who stormed the secretariat in several operational patrol vehicles.
They sang and danced along the road.
The protest, which was initially largely peaceful, later went out of control, when the angry crowd tried to take control of the entrance of the secretariat gate, and, in the process, barricaded the Blantyre street leading to the APC national secretariat.
In the ensuing confusion, some irate mob torea billboard with the pictures of the APC national chairman and President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that the national leadership must approve the indirect mode of primaries in the FCT.
Spokesman of the group Usman Mohammed Karshi told newsmen that the group was on a mission to protest injustice and imposition of mode of primary election in the FCT; an original inhabitants of the territory. They also called for Oshiomhole’s resignation, and doubted if he was not working for opposition parties.
“We are here to protest injustice. We are here to protest imposition. We are here to sound it loud and clear that we are solidly in support of president Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. We are here; tell all who have ears that, in the FCT, results will not be written. We are here to state it loud and clear that FCT APC is going for indirect primary.
“We are here to make it clear to Oshiomhole that we are comrades and that was why we voted for him as chairman. So, we are appealing to his sense of reason. He should be reasonable to give us what we want. FCT APC rejects direct primary in FCT,” he said.
He also said the party in the FCT is asking for what is just.
“NEC was very clear about it that all should go back to their states, and chose whatever method they want. That it is either you go for direct, indirect primaries or consensus.”
“The FCT leaders, all nine senatorial and 15 House of Representatives aspirants met and agreed that FCT is going for indirect primary. Why should Oshiomhole and the National Working Committee change it? It is unacceptable. You cannot write results here in the name of direct primaries. It is not possible,” he said.
He further said that the FCT is exercising its right of choice in choosing indirect mode of primary election as approved by the NEC of the party.
It took the personal intervention of the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, to calm the angry crowd down and disperse them. However, that was after the initial police reinforcement failed to contain the situation.