Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Pandemonium as OBJ, Kashamu PDP Factions Clash in Abeokuta

Abeokuta — Hell was let loose in Abeokuta,the Ogun State capital,Wednesday, following the bloody clash between members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP's factions loyal to party financier, Prince Buruji Kashamu and former president Olusegun Obasanjo over the possession of the State Party Secretariat leaving one victim injured.

Members of the two factions which had been at loggerheads over the possession of the Party Secretariat located along the Presidential Boulevard, Abeokuta caused stir when they allegedly used various dangerous weapons, charms and missiles against one another.

According to an eye witness, the violence started at about 10:00am when the members of the Bayo Dayo-led State Executive Council stormed the party premises for an emergency meeting which was resisted by the Obasanjo faction and resulted in the bloody clash which created panic amongst residents of the area.

Vanguard gathered that several members of the two factions sustained various degrees of injury in the fracas which was burst by the Security operatives thirty minutes after.

Vanguard findings revealed that, during the melee, one of the hoodlums in the Obasanjo's faction was allegedly hit with an object suspected to be a charm prompting him to vomit blood profusely.

The Security operatives which included armed policemen, operatives of the State Anti-robbery Squad and State Security Service arrested five of the hoodlums and subsequently took over the Secretariat.

When Vanguard visited the place some armed and stern-looking policemen and plainclothes security operatives have stormed the place and prevented journalists from gaining entry into the premises after the situation was brought under control.

The Chairman of the State Executive Committee of the Ogun PDP, Chief Adebayo Dayo described the developments that led to the fracas at the party secretariat as the "illegality of the highest order" being perpetrated by some elders of the party in the state.

Dayo who spoke with newsmen in Abeokuta however, insisted that his exco remained the only recognized leadership of the PDP in the State.

He said "some youths wanted to hold a meeting at the secretariat but some people tried to stop them and this led to the fracas. We all belong to the same family and if should be fighting ourselves, what happens when we have to confront the opposition parties? We should go and buy rockets? I don't understand why we should always fightourselves whenever we meet".

In his reaction to the fracas, the Publicity Secretary of the Obasanjo faction, Mr. Bidemi Osunbiyi accused the other faction of initiating violence.

He however, denied that there was bloody clash between the supporters of the two warring groups.

Osunbiyi said "We normally hold our meetings on Wednesday but this morning they (Kashamu faction members) came and said that they wanted to make use of the secretariat, too. They were led by some security men. But while we were still talking, one over-zealous boy hit one of us with a charm and people now held him. But the police came and said that all of us should leave the secretariat. By tomorrow morning (today) we shall surely be back at the secretariat. What happened today is the beginning of the end of the crisis".

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