Buhari's minister of labour, Chris Ngige, escaped beating in Anambra. Here's exactly what happened.
Punch reports that the meeting was called to harmonise the results of the party’s ward congresses which held on Saturday, May 5, 2018.
There was a feeling among some APC chieftains in Anambra that Ngige was back in the State to rig the congress elections. It was all the event needed to turn violent.
Gunshots rang in and around the venue of the meeting as everyone scampered for safety. As a mob bayed for Ngige’s blood, security personnel shot into the air to keep them at bay.
In the ensuing melee, Ngige was quickly whisked away to safety by security personnel before he could be lynched, various reports say.
According to Punch, a member of the State’s ward congress committee identified simply as Ali, “was not that lucky to escape as he was beaten to a pulp and stripped naked on allegations that he was among those drafted to the State to work for Ngige”.
Mr. Tony Nwoye who contested and lost the November 18, 2017 Anambra governorship election on the platform of the APC, pointedly accused Ngige of trying to rig the ward congress elections.
Nwoye also said the minister intends to hijack the APC structure in Anambra.
“I will not let Ngige take over the function of the panel”, Nwoye vowed. “We have a panel that is supposed to conduct that congress and they just came here today, whereas you are trying to tell us that elections were held yesterday. How can Ngige be the one to conduct the congress when there’s a committee?
“As of 7pm on Saturday, people were being denied the forms because they wanted to contest positions, and what that means is that the forms have been given out to those they like. We will not let that happen”, Nwoye said.
However, Ngige took exception to Nwoye's accusations. The minister said he only got into trouble because he stood for what was right.
“We do not have trouble here and we are here to further the cause of the party. People are querying the guidelines given by the NEC of the party and I said no. The issue was over zoning of positions. We said go to the ward and if anyone resigns, we replace him because this is a brotherly contest”, Ngige said.
Anambra isn’t the only State in Nigeria where APC gatherings became a theater of war.
In Ughelli, Delta State, Mr. Jeremiah Oghoveta was reportedly stabbed to death during ward congresses in that oil rich region.
And in Ekiti State, the APC governorship primary ended on a violent and inconclusive note after party chieftains accused Solid Minerals Minister Kayode Fayemi of trying to manipulate proceedings.
The APC seized the center from the PDP in March of 2015. The governing party controls a chunk of States in Nigeria's flawed federal system.