The gunmen, SaharaReporters gathered, stormed the venue in three Toyota Sienna minivans shortly after the primary election results had been declared and delegates and aspirants left the venue. They subsequently began to shoot indiscriminately into the air as party members, supporters and security personnel scampered to safety.
The election had ended peacefully with the state legal adviser of the party, Bernard Odion winning the election with 23 votes to beat the incumbent, Jude Ogbimi, who polled one vote. The immediate council chairman, Emmanuel Egbabor, who had 8 votes clinched the second position.
SaharaReporters gathered that before the election, the chairman of Isoko North council, Christian Iteire had on Friday allegedly hijacked the ad-hoc delegates and camped them in a hotel to prevent other aspirants from gaining access to the delegates before the election.
Confirming this, one of the delegates who spoke to SaharaReporters on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the majority of the adhoc delegates were hijacked by the council chairman in collaboration with the member representing the Isoko federal constituency in the house of representatives, Leo Ogor and the former commissioner for energy and aspirant for the Isoko federal house of representatives, Jonathan Ukodhiko.
“Our national leader, you know him, Leo, gave 29 of us the ad-hoc delegates N3.5 million each to support his anointed candidate, the state party legal adviser, Bernard Odion. And of course, there must always be a betrayer. Out of the 29 of us, only 23 voted for Odion to win the party ticket and I was among the delegates who voted against him because Odion is too local and dull for the House of Assembly seat.
“It is as good as Isoko North not having a representative in the state assembly with Odion going there. It’s very unfortunate that Odion is being forced on the people of Isoko North constituency. Odion won’t be able to move or even sponsor a single motion and bill for the development of our constituency and state,” the source disclosed.
Unlike Isoko South constituency 1 where the state commissioner for youth development, Ifeanyi Egwunyega, harassed and supervised an assault on journalists during the primary election, journalists were treated with respect and recognition and were involved in the process at the Isoko North House of Assembly primary election.