…Police take over Enugu party secretariat
By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU—FRACAS leading to tearing to shreds the cloth of a factional chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Enugu State, Deacon Okey Ogbodo, occurred at the party’s state secretariat in GRA Enugu, yesterday as two parallel factions of the party flexed muscles to take control of the party office.
Vanguard learnt that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama had called for a meeting of the party at the secretariat but Dr. Ben Nwoye, leading the other faction of the party wrote to the police to give him protection for another prayer meeting at the same venue.
The Nwoye group took control of the party office early in the morning, singing pro-Buhari songs and warded off the Ogbodo faction led by Onyeama.
Police pleaded with the Ogbodo faction not to make any forceful entry into the already occupied secretariat to avoid fracas.
The commotion brought the state Commissioner of Police, Danmalam Mohammad to the venue. He was having a dialogue with Nwoye when Ogbodo arrived and his members surged into the compound and in the ensuing fracas, Nwoye reportedly tore Ogbodo’s clothes to shreds in front of the commissioner of police, the police PPRO and other top police officers.
The situation intensified with supporters of each faction wielding clubs and holding each other to the jugular. The police contained the situation but quickly led Ogbodo away. While the Nwoye faction maintained control of the compound, the Ogbodo faction remained outside the gate.
The incident caused traffic gridlock along Park Avenue area of GRA where the party office is situated.
Later, the Commissioner of Police came back and asked everybody to vacate the secretariat and hold their meetings at different venues untill they resolved their differences.
Police Spokesman in the State, Ebere Amaraizu said “the police took the decision to vacate everybody in order to avoid further clashes and possible loss of lives.”
Factional chairman, Nwoye however accused Onyeama of sponsoring mobs to disrupt youths praying for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.
Ogbodo however said that it was because his group came to distribute materials preparatory for the party’s direct primaries that made the Nwoye group to resort to violence.
“We are fighting for a just cause. We wrote to police and the DSS and they approved our meeting. The problem is about the coming party primaries where we have chosen direct primaries as recommended by the national secretariat.
“Now Police have sealed the secretariat but we will continue sharing materials for the primaries,” said Ogbodo.