There was pandemonium yesterday, following sporadic shooting by security aides of the state Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, at Abia Hotels Ltd, in Umuahia, the state capital.
The state hotel was the venue of the well-advertised Abia governorship debate, organised by online media practitioners in the state, through online radio and some private radio stations.
The debate, like other ones in many places, was to ascertain the qualities of candidates who want to govern the state.
Leakblast.com learnt that the debate had just ended and the candidates were coming in to the hall when confusion ensued as a result of sporadic shooting to disperse chains of human barricade, formed by students of various schools to stop governor Ikpeazu from leaving until he had addressed them.
The students had insisted that Ikpeazu, who had already entered his vehicle and was ready to go should come down and address them.
Led by one of their own, they made a human barricade, insisting that they must have their way.
Frightened that this might lead to the mobbing of the governor, the security operatives of the governor shot sporadically, to disperse the mob that was already forming.
As the shooting was going on, other security operatives descended on the students’ leader and beat him black and blue, and left him bleeding when their principal escaped.
As this was going on, the sporadic guns shots made everybody to scamper for safety, as some elderly men and women, including newsmen fell into the gutter.
Leakblast.com learnt that each of the candidates paid N1million to participate at the debate and those who could not pay the fee were not given the opportunity to speak during the debate.
The development raised a lot of grumbling among the candidates of some of the small parties who were not given the opportunity to speak, due to non-payment of the fee.
Candidates who participated include governor Ikpeazu of the People’s Democratic Party, Dr. Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Dr. Blessing Nwagba of Social Democratic Party, and the candidate of Accord Party, Emeka Nwakolam.
The candidate of the All Progressive Congress Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah, was absent.
An eyewitness account said immediately the gun shot was heard outside the hall, students, who felt dishonoured by the refusal of the state governor to come down and address them, rushed into the hall and started up-turning chairs and tables to express their displeasure.
At that juncture, attendees started jumping out from any available escape route they could find.
A journalist, who pleaded anonymity, said the debate had just ended when the governor and other candidates stepped out of the hall, while those who were not allowed to speak due to non-payment of N1million fee grumbled as they headed towards the gate.
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