- as Kantigi emerges party’s flag bearer
Three delegates who were returning to Mariga in Mariga Local Government Area of Niger State after the aborted gubernatorial primaries of the party in Minna were reportedly killed by armed bandits.
To this end, the rescheduled delegates’ election of the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was almost disrupted for a second time as
Former Niger state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the immediate past dispensation, Alhaji Isah Ladan Kantigi has emerged as PDP flag bearer for next year’s governorship polls.
Kantigi polled a total of 667 votes, Sani Kutigi came distance second with 114 votes, Alhaji Isa Jankara came third with 21 votes while the former Minister of Sports Ahmed Gimba got only 3 votes leaving the other opponent, Sidi Abdul with no vote. Three votes were voided.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa state, Chief Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo who gave an account of how four delegates were reportedly killed by armed bandits on their way home described the incident as ‘very tragic
Delegates were said to have lost their lives while returning to Mariga on after the postponed party primaries because of protests by four aspirants who finally and sadly lost out to Liman Kantigi.
The delegates were asked to bring their means of identification for the purpose of authentication and expected to tarry with their names as indicated on the original while coming for Thursday’s primaries.
Those who lost their lives during the armed bandits’ attack according to Ewhrudjakpo were substituted to complete the number of delegates from the Mariga Local Government Area.
One of the delegates from Mariga, Malam Shehu Haruna who expressed gratitude to God for narrowly escaping the attack told journalists that the incident occurred as they were travelling along the Mariga-Tegina road and four people lost their lives.
Haruna said, “We left Minna late after the Governorship primaries to Thursday after they told us that we should go and bring our voter’s card or any other means of identification and that was when they attacked us”.
“We were on our way back to Mariga to get our means of identification and on the road, we ran into the armed bandits who opened fire on the vehicle we were travelling on. We were able to escape since the driver was not hit, but, four people died instantly”.
“Mariga Local Government shares a border with Birnin-Gwari, a notorious spot for armed bandits in Kaduna state terrorising citizens regularly”, Haruna further hinted and suggested that a security outpost be established in the area to stem further attacks.
However, the governorship primaries for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Niger state are still in progress.
Our correspondent reports that voting just started as at the time of this report