Ogun APC primary: Ballot snatching aborted, 7 persons faint

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Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta

Member of the House of Representatives, Kehinde Odeneye, and six other persons today fainted after inhaling the teargas thrown by the police during the primaries of the All Progressives Congress,APC in Ijebu-Ode. They were rushed to the hospital to recover.

The primary was to pick the person to represent the Ijebu Central Constituency.

Hell was let loose at Itoro Hall, venue of the primary, as over 200 policemen stormed the venue and teargassed everybody at sight.

The action caused some pandemonium all around the town.

Ijebu Central Federal Constituency consists of Ijebu Ode, Ijebu North East and Odogbolu local government areas.

The crisis started around 6:15pm when some delegates and party faithful observed some suspicious movement by some of the supporters of one of the aspirants,which made them to resist the attempt to steal the ballot box.

The attempted stealing of the ballot box caused a stir as the police fired teargas and it resulted in a serious showdown that made the INEC officials to stop the exercise for a while.

After twenty minutes,some Mobile policemen later arrived few minutes after the Special Adviser to the governor on Security, Mr Akinduro had come in inside the venue and discuss with some policemen on ground.

Our correspondent was able to count over 20 Hilux buses which were fully loaded with fully armed mobile policemen who came and started teargassing everywhere.

The election was about to be rounded up, with delegates from only four wards from Ijebu North East left to cast their votes.

There was jubilation outside the hall and around the town with supporters of one of the aspirants,Engr. Waidi Kunle Ottun singing victory song as they believed their candidate was coasting home to victory.

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In the process, one of the policemen who went to search the vehicle of one of the aspirants was shocked when he found a gun in the car.

The discovery made the police shoot more teargas to disrupt the exercise.

One of the police officers came in into the hall and ordered everybody to move out.

Some of the aspirants agents and supporters resisted the order, making the officer to shoot more teargas.

Some of the leaders at the venue were rescued out of the venue by some youths.

But many people inside the hall insisted that they will resist any imposition by the State governor.

It was gathered that the governor is rooting for one of the aspirants,who was the former Commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning,Mr Olugbenga Otenuga while the people of the area maintained that the former Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Water Resources, Waidi Kunle Ottun,a.k.a KOPE is their choice.

This has been demonstrated by their votes as it has been crystal clear as at the time the election was disrupted that the Ijebu Ode Chemical Engineer turned politician has been leading with wider margin.

Youths provided a bulwark for the ballot box, insisting that it should not be taken away.

The governor has invited all the aspirant a to Abeokuta, the State capital and he will be meeting with them Sunday night.

The incumbent federal lawmaker, Kehinde Odeneye and other six aspirants are contesting the election.

They are Kolapo Korede Osunsanya, Jubril Adewale, Omooba Ademola Okulaja, Waidi Kunle Ottun and Olugbenga Otenuga.

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