BY Demola Akinyemi
Ilorin—The wrangling between supporters of All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kwara State yesterday degenerated as supporters of both parties struggled to take control of the former PDP office in the state.
The state was controlled by the PDP before the major political gladiators including the governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed and his political godfather, Senator Bukola Saraki decamped to the APC, hence prompting the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to set up a caretaker committee for the PDP in the state.
How it started
However, trouble started at the office when the PDP caretaker committee tried to take over the office forcefully but was stopped by the APC, triggering confusion in the process.
Journalists who were at the premises to witness the event were pushed around by both parties before the PDP officials addressed a news conference along the street, having failed to take over the office.
The incoming PDP officials, however, refused to leave the area in a bid to establish their presence in the disputed secretariat, just as the APC members stoutly rebuffed the move as they also forced themselves into the secretariat.
Inauguration of Edoja-led committee
The National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur had last week inaugurated a caretaker committee for the Kwara State chapter of the party led by Solomon Edoja (Delta State) with Alhaji Jubril Bala Jos from Plateau State as secretary.
The events took place even as armed anti-riot policemen watched the two warring parties.
Addressing journalists later on the issue, the state police spokesman, ASP Ajayi Okasina, said at the venue that it was wrong for the PDP to attempt to take over the secretariat when the matter over ownership of the secretariat was still pending in the court.
He asked the anti-riot police officers on duty to, “please, don’t allow anyone inside since the case is still in court, we don’t want crisis here.”
Meantime, the former secretary of the PDP in the state, Prince Yemi Afolayan in a press statement on the development criticised the police for encouraging the PDP to create crisis knowing that the matter was in court.
His words: “Yesterday the PDP in Kwara State, in another demonstration of the impunity and disregard for the rule of law for which the party has become known for made another futile attempt to take over our property at the GRA in Ilorin.
“This should not have come as a surprise to anyone given that the party of recent has become a haven for lawlessness with flagrant disregard to the rule of law.
“It will be recalled that former chairman of the party, the PDP sued the police for refusing him assess to its former secretariat. The PDP applied to be joined in the suit which was granted without objection from the plaintiff, Mr. Ishola Balogun.
“Just as the court adjourned for judgement, the PDP petitioned against the presiding judge. The Chief Judge reassigned the case to another judge of the high court.”
“Unknown to us, the PDP has again perfected another onslaught on the judiciary by attempting to forcefully take over the property.
“One wonders what could have motivated the PDP to take the step it took, if not a desire to push our state into crisis. As a law abiding people, and progressives, we have instructed our supporters, who were mobilised against the PDP, not to do anything that will be seen as putting the court in contempt and will continue to appeal to them not to allow this lawlessness on the part of the PDP to push them into anything that can destroy what we have laboured together over the years to build in the state.”