Gbenga Sodeinde, Ado Ekiti
The crisis rocking the Ekiti state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a new turn yesterday as armed policemen took over the secretariat following the bloody clash between loyalists of former Governor Ayo Fayose and Senator Biodun Olujimi over the conduct of ward congresses.
The crisis broke out around 4pm at the state secretariat when the supporters of the two gladiators were waiting for the members of the appeal panel sent to adjudicate on issues arising from the conduct of last Saturday’s congresses arrived the state.
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It was gathered that dangerous weapons like bottles, cutlasses and stones were deployed as members of appeal panel sent by the PDP national leadership arrived the state party office, prompting the police to intervene and restore law and order.
Several persons were said to have been wounded in the process.
The outcome of the congresses had elicited controversies with party members loyal to the Sen. Olujimi accusing the leader of the team that conducted the ward congress and Taraba state Deputy Governor, Haruna Manu of plotting to rig the elections in favour of Fayose.
Olujimi’s supporters claimed that they over-ran Fayose’s political machinery in the poll.
When journalists visited the PDP secretariat, over 30 policemen were seen at the entrance of the one- storey building, while all entrances and exits were under lock and key.
Responding to the attack, Sen. 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 the 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 ship out of the PDP; we won’t tolerate that.
“If they were right, why were they violent today? You can all attest to the fact that no collation was done regarding the ward congresses. We didn’t do any collation, so the Taraba deputy governor has no results to present”, she stated.