The main headlines from mainstream newspapers today, Friday, September 7, are focused on the brawl that broke out at the PDP headquarters as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar submitted his forms to contest for the party's primaries, ahead of the 2019 presidential election; the message from various groups to President Buhari over the shadowy groups that purchased his forms; and the petition sent to the president by Chief Edwin Clark over the invasion of his home by some police officers.
The Punch reports that there was a free-for-all at the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja on Thursday, September 6, as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar submitted his presidential nomination and expression of interest forms to the party’s leadership.
Atiku’s supporters had begun converging at the venue as early as 8:55am in the morning; singing, carrying banners and posters bearing the former VP’s pictures.
Some hours after noon, Atiku arrived at the venue in a convoy of his branded campaign cars. Suddenly, some of the supporters were sighted running around the secretariat chasing a few others with cudgels, a development that led to a stampede at the secretariat gate.
The fight reportedly began when some political thugs believed to have come around with flags and tags of a rival political party were noticed around the PDP secretariat. The situation became violent as some of Atiku’s supporters attempted to engage the thugs; and a serious fight broke out, with dangerous weapons being used.
Mirroring the account of the previous publication, The Guardian reports that there was pandemonium at the PDP headquarters on Thursday as Atiku Abubakar submitted his presidential nomination and expression of interest forms.
The publication also reports that trouble broke out when persons armed with machetes and sticks were seen pursuing people; creating panic and a stampede at the front gate of the premises. A mass of people – mostly women and some men – were seen, jammed helplessly on the ground, in a footage of the incident.
During the fracas, a man believed to be a supporter of Atiku was beaten and was saved by the intervention of some policemen attached to the secretariat.
An eyewitness reportedly stated: “The fight started when some thugs with APC posters attacked us along Michael Okpara Street opposite the party secretariat. The APC supporters started singing a song against the supporters of the former vice president. The supporters of Atiku retaliated and a fight ensued.”
Moving on to a different subject, This Day is reporting that President Muhammadu Buhari was asked by civil society groups and opposition parties, to reject the N45.5 million All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential nomination forms bought for him by a shadowy group, Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network (NCAN).
The groups, including Afenifere, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Centre for Transparency Advocacy, as well as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC), made the request to the president on Thursday.
According to them, NCAN’s gesture was a violation of S91(9) of Electoral Act 2010 as amended and asked the president to reject it.
However, when approached about the matter by the publication, the presidency reportedly refused to react; asking that any comments be directed to the president’s campaign organisation.
The special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, reportedly stated: “The president’s campaign organisation is the most appropriate body to react to this type of matter.”
Rounding things off, Vanguard is reporting that Chief Edwin Clark, elder statesman and prominent Ijaw leader, wrote a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that the inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris, and top police officers were behind the raid at his Abuja home, on Tuesday, September 4.
He also copied the national security adviser, Babagana Monguno, in the petition.
According to the publication, Clark said there were serious questions that ought to be determined by President Buhari with regards to not only the fact that he was placed under suspicion, but also the fact that a search warrant could be procured against him on demeaning allegations that he was involved in gun-running.
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