There was intense tension at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, south west Nigeria as two factions of the party engaged in a show of supremacy for the control of the party secretariat located along the IBB boulevard in the state capital.
Members of the Adebayo Dayo led faction of the party stormed the secretariat in 20 buses to protest the presence of the rival party in the building but they were prevented from entering the building by armed police officers believed to be acting on the instruction of the Dipo Odujinrin faction that took over the secretariat on Friday
The lingering crisis among the warring factions of the PDP in Ogun State has no doubt polarised the party into personal and factional interests which has resulted into many court cases and judgements
The members of the Dayo-faction, who were led by the Assistant state Secretary of the PDP, Semiu Babatunde said that they were at the secretariat to restore sanity and redress the alleged injustice meted out to them by the other faction of the party that is reportedly receiving support from former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The protesters, who were visibly tensed up engaged the officers of the state security service who were appealing to them to be calm and wait for the order of the Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, in an argument, development that made the officers step aside.
Mr Babatunde claimed that the Dayo faction remained the legally recognised Ogun State PDP executive describing Mr Odujinrin as usurper who would soon fade out of existence.
He said those that are guarding the secretariat are not members of the party and that the policemen are not the one that locked the gate but insisted that they have the right to enter the secretariat as the authentic faction of the party.
One of the security guards inside the secretariat disclosed that they were guarding secretariat on the instruction of the National Leaders of the party from Abuja.
Queries Police Commissioner
The Dayo-faction of the Ogun State PDP had on Sunday threatened to sue the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, for contempt of the court.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary Waliu Oladipupo, the party accused Mr Okoye of “criminal complicity in aiding and abetting some hoodlums to seize its secretariat on IBB Boulevard, Kopabe Road, Abeokuta, last Wednesday”.
The statement reads: “Up till now, the hoodlums, including some wanted criminals, are still at the party secretariat, having a free reign, shooting into the air intermittently and brandishing AK 47 rifles and other ammunition.
“We shudder to think what could have informed the decision of the Commissioner, who is paid from our commonwealth to keep the peace, to look away in the face of obvious threat to peace, law and order in our dear state.
“We are the management body for the state party, recognised by our predecessors, the party leadership at the national level, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Our position has been further affirmed by several court judgments in Lagos, Abuja and Ilaro. Even the Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in his report to Okoye confirmed the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led exco as the authentic leadership of the party. We availed CP Okoye all of these, yet he chose to play the ostrich. Does he want to return to the jungle where might is right?”
The party urged Mr Okoye not to rubbish the rebranding efforts of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and do the right thing.