The All Progressives Congress’ decision to pick Yahaya Bello as a replacement for its governorship candidate in Kogi State, the late Abubakar Audu, has led to violent protests in the state.
A newspaper had on Saturday reported that the APC had picked Bello as a substitute for Audu, who died on Sunday shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the November 21 governorship election in the state inconclusive.
The report sparked protests in Ajaokuta area of the state by youths of Igalaland where Audu hailed from.
The youths were said to have expected that either Audu’s son, Mohammed, or another person from Igalaland would replace Audu.
They marched along major roads in Ajaokuta area, sang war songs and carried placards of different inscriptions denouncing Audu’s replacement with Bello.
The enraged youths made bonfire and later blocked the Itope-Ajaokuta Bridge, which is along Ayangba-Ajaokuta highway, causing gridlock.
Many motorists and commuters were said to have been stranded for hours while the blockade lasted.
The intervention of security operatives, who made the protesting youths to stop their siege on the bridge, later restored normalcy to the area.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. William Aya, confirmed the protests.
He stated that the Police quickly moved to the area to restored law and order.
INEC had on Tuesday written the APC, asking it to submit a substitute for the late candidate. The party had said that it would hold a fresh primary to choose another candidate.
But Bello, who was the first runner-up at the APC primary, was reportedly picked by the party leaders on Friday.