Posted by By TUNDE RAHEEM, Ado-Ekiti and TONY OSAUZO, Benin on
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State over an alleged plan to impose candidates deepened on Monday following a serious violence that marred the ward congresses held in the 177 wards of the state to elect new party executives.
…2 sustain machete cuts
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State over an alleged plan to impose candidates deepened on Monday following a serious violence that marred the ward congresses held in the 177 wards of the state to elect new party executives. The situation was not different in Edo where parallel ward congresses were held in several parts of the state, with two persons seriously macheted in Igarra, Akoko, Edo Local Council Area.
Some of the wards visited by Daily Sun in Ekiti showed that both party members and delegates were engaging themselves in serious arguments over the allegation that the list of those favoured by the state government to occupy ward executive positions had already been penciled down ahead of the Monday's congresses.
At Ward 2 in Odo-Ado area of Ado-Ekiti, some PDP members were hell bent on fomenting trouble if the leaders of the party attempted to impose any candidate on them, saying ward leaders must emerge through free and fair elections.
Party members in the ward accused a former special adviser in the Fayose administration, who now belongs to the Irewolede caucus of Governor Segun Oni as the brain behind the imposition of executives on them.
Following this development, the election of ward executives scheduled for the morning could not hold as those opposed to the alleged imposition plan posed for showdown while the few policemen on ground had a hectic time controlling irate party members.
When tensions gathered momentum, the electoral officer stationed at the ward by the state secretariat of the part, Mrs Iyabo Babatunde was forced to abandon the assignment and ran to the nearest police station.
The armed policemen who came to the scene had a tough time before restoring normalcy as some party members, who were acting under the influence of alcohol engage in physical combat.
The chaotic situation later came under control while the aggrieved ward members later agreed to line up, but voting had not commenced as at press time.
In Edo, reports from Esan South-East, Ikpoba Okha and Orhiomwon Local Government areas showed that parallel ward congresses held in several parts of the council areas.
The party had been torn into camps last week following disagreement between Dr. Sam Ogbemudia and Chief Anthony Anenih over sharing of party positions in the state.
Daily Sun learnt that as a result of the division in the party, Dr. Sam Ogbemudia and some other chieftain of the party are now in one camp, with Anenih leading the other camp.
Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Calus Enoma, who took part in the congress in his Uhunmwonde Local Government yesterday, however, denied that parallel congress took place in the area.
Mr. Enoma told journalists that the crisis in the party was a family affair which he explained the leaders were working hard to resolve.
Meanwhile, reports from Igarra, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area indicated that two persons were machetes yesterday following disagreement by members of rival factions during the PDP ward congress in the area.
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