A ward congress of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State, held last Sunday, was marred with heavy shoot-out during the distribution of electoral materials. The shootout started at the point where result sheets were being distributed for the 12 local government areas which make up Imo West senatorial dis- trict.
Before then, result sheets for the two senatorial districts of Owerri and Okigwe had been successfully distributed. An eyewitness said it was when the Orlu distribution was to follow that the event became riotous such that Abia State Deputy Governor, Ude Okechukwu, who presided over the sharing, had to be smuggled out to safety by security agents.
Collection of the result sheets ended abruptly with eight local government areas in Orlu senatorial district unable to collect theirs. All efforts by leaders from the eight local governments to get the materials released the following day so that results could be entered proved abortive. The gunmen and their sponsors have not been identified
The aggrieved members of the party have relocated to the party headquarters in Abuja with petitions to the national Chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff to ensure that the process is completed in the remaining local governments.
There are speculations that the remaining result sheets were hijacked during the fracas. A member of the House of Representatives from the zone, who declined not to be named, said the disruption of the result sheets for Orlu zone was a huge shame. He said such conduct was least expected of a party that is in the process of rebuilding itself.