There was tension and anxiety over the All Progressives Congress (APC) Anambra State primary election which stretched into the night yesterday as it became difficult to predict a possible winner in the contest at press time.
However, there were indications that it would be a four-horse race among Bart Nwibe, Tony Nwoye, Senator Andy Uba and George Muoghalu.
Other aspirants include, Dr. Obinna Uzor, Paul Chukwuma, JohnBosco Onukwo and Donatus Okonkwo.
It was believed that 5430 delegates might vote in this pattern because of alleged allegiance to the party in the state and love for the aspirants.
Newsmen gathered from delegates at the venue that Nwibe commands so much love among the members and had been a consistent member with character. The same was said of Nwoye. Though, not a foundation member of the APC, he, however, had been a great mobilizer carrying members along, while Uba was said to have committed so much funds to the party to give it a facelift in the state.
There was also the opinion that money from the aspirants in the race might change the calculations, but the eventual winner would emerge from the three aforementioned contestants.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 25 persons were arrested during the primary election even as voting in the exercise commenced very late about 6.20pm at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre. There, police first arrested 19 young men about 9am at the entrance of the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, where accreditation of delegates took place.
The young men who were arrested by security operatives on ground, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Mr. Mike Okoli, could not show any evidence of being delegates to the election. About 20 minutes after they were taken away at the police station, six bouncers were arrested by securityman at the same venue bringing the number of those arrested to 25.
The Joint Security Team (JST) led by the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, Mr. Garba Umar, had on Friday warned that those who had nothing to do with the election should stay away from the venue and it’s environs.
The six bouncers were arrested very close to Aroma junction following a tip-off. The well kitted bouncers were alleged to have been imported into the state by a yet to be identified aspirant. As at noon when accreditation was yet to commence, some delegates became worried fearing an alleged plot to manipulate the exercise.
Even security operatives at a stage got worried at the lateness in starting the exercise as the Gov. Ibrahim Shettima Primary Election Panel was not at the venue at the time..
One of the aspirants, Obinna Uzor, was the only one that showed up at the venue before the accreditation commenced at 12.25pm.
The two venues were firmly under the control of the JST, with the police commissioner leading operations at the voting venue.
Newsmen gathered that the delegates had a great harvest as the aspirants doled out money ranging from between N10,000 to N60,000 to win their votes. Among prominent members of the party who were at the venue to witness the primary election were the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and plenty other dignitaries cum stake holders