There was complete pandemonium at the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State following the sporadic gunshots that rented the air.
Journalists and party delegates who had stormed the premises of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta on Wednesday, scampered for safety as loyalists of two governorship aspirants, Oladipupo Adebutu and Jimi Lawal clashed over the delegate list to be adopted for the exercise.
The exercise which started around 5:pm was disrupted following a shouting match and clash over the delegate list.
Our correspondent gathered that there was a tension over the agitation for the use of delegates’ list from the national.
Trouble started shortly after the PDP electoral panel, headed by Prof Akase Sorkaa had announced the mode of conduct of the exercise.
Our correspondent who was at the venue observed that some loyalists of Lawal, an ex-banker raised an objection, rejecting a delegate list brought from the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.
This led to a shouting match between supporters of Lawal and Adebutu who also engaged one another pushing and shoving.
One of the media aides of Lawal, Austin Oniyokor, who brought some documents claiming to have been certified by the INEC, insisted that the exercise must not take place unless the said document is adopted.
The drama which lasted for over 30 minutes saw security operatives helpless while INEC officials temporarily relocated from the hall.
“This exercise cannot be conducted with a fake list. These are INEC-generated documents. These are your certified documents,” Oniyokor shouted while addressing INEC officials.
While still waiting for the party officials to find solutions to the impasse, sound of gunshots from outside the hall caused journalists and other delegates to scamper for safety.
Meanwhile, a governorship aspirant, Segun Showunmi, has been declared as the party governorship candidate by a faction.
The faction which held a primary at the NUJ Secretariat, Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta, announced Showunmi as the PDP governorship candidate in the state.
Chairman of the electoral committee, Abayomi Daniel, announced Showunmi as the winner after polling 554 votes to defeat his closest rival, Lawal who scored 30 votes, while Adebutu polled 15 votes.
According to Daniel, a total number of 778 delegates were accredited, 702 votes were cast while three votes were voided.
“By the power conferred on me by the national leadership of our great party as the chairman electoral committee of the PDP governorship primary election in Ogun State declared Hon. Segun Sowunmi as the winner of the election having polled the highest number of votes and he is hereby returned and elected”, Daniel said.
Sowunmi in his acceptance speech called on other aspirants to work together with him to secure victory for the party in the 2023 general elections.
He said, “I humbly accept the nomination as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for Ogun State. I thank all the delegates, I thank all relevant authorities and the security for their efforts.
“I am particularly impressed by the orderly manner of the primaries. I wish to extend an olive branch of peace and camaraderie to my brothers fellow aspirants.
“It is the beginning of a new dawn in the PDP and a sure step towards a defining moment in our beloved Ogun State.”