Armed policemen, on Thursday, took over the secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, as loyalists of the former Governor Ayodele Fayose and Senator Olujimi exchanged blows over conduct of ward Congress.
The crisis broke out around 4 pm at the state secretariat located at Ajilosun area of Ado Ekiti, capital city, when the supporters of the two gladitors were waiting for the members of appeal panel sent to adjudicate on matters arising from the conduct of last Saturday’s Congress arrived the state.
It was gathered that dangerous weapons like bottles, cutlasses and stones were deployed as members of the appeal panel sent by Chief Uche Secondus led executive arrived, which prompted the police to immediately draft their men to the place.
Several persons were said to have been wounded in the process.
The outcome of the Congress had elicited controversies, with those loyal to the Senator representing Ekiti South, Mrs Biodun Olujimi accusing the leader of the team that conducted the ward congress and Taraba State Deputy Governor, Haruna Manu of plotting to rig in favour of Fayose.
Olujimi’s supporters claimed that they overran Fayose’s political machinery in the poll conducted on the field.
When journalists visited the Secretariat, over 30 policemen were at the entrance of the one storey building, while every door was under lock and key.
Over eight police vans deployed from Okesa and Ologede Police Stations were stationed at strategic locations while all members have been dispersed to avert loss of lives.
Responding to the attack, Olujimi blamed Fayose and his supporters for allegedly trying to define the PDP with the emblem of violence by mobilising thugs to where the appeal panel was expected to sit.
“Because we caught them in that dastardly act at Petim Hotel on Saturday, they thought they could right the wrongs with the appeal panel by being violent.
“Just because we caught them, they were on the offensive and they had to put up some violence. I don’t like violence and we will not allow violence to define us as a party. Whoever wants violence must either drop that and stay or chip out of the PDP, we won’t tolerate that.
“They beat some people, I mean some of my supporters, but I was not touched. If they were right , why were they violent today? They were the ones engaging in a dastartdly act and they are being chased aroud by their shameful act, like they were caught in the act.
“You could all attest to the fact that no collation was done regarding the ward congress. We didn’t do any collation, so the Taraba deputy has no results to present”, she stated.
Fayose, who responded through his Media Aide, Lere Olayinka, said
“if you won an election, would you go and file petition at tribunal? After winning an election, will you go and file petition at the petition. They were the one who filed petition at the appeal panel. Do you file petition against a congress you claimed to have won? The appeal panel did not come to the party secretariat until about 2pm, she mobilized people to the secretariat as early as 8am.
“They were there in the sun. when we got information that members of the appeal panel had arrived, the the former deputy governor, prof eleka and some of our leaders to submit our own report, not petition o, of the how the congresses went. When the olujimi group saw the crowd accompanying pro eleka, they fled
“They were so intimidated and they fled despite that olujimi herself cannot deny that he paid thugs in buses around there. the thugs nad those people have turned olujimi to political ATM.
“We have right to go to the secretariat, the issue of thugs, they mobilized thugs to Petim Guest House on Saturday whwre they deflated tyres and destroyed vehicles.
“She has conceded that her group failed. We are here waiting for the local government congresses on march 21. We have concluded ward congresses.
“The attack is all politics, it was from people from her side so that they can turn around to accuse you.”