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Guns boom as Akeredolu, Abraham’s supporters clash at Ondo APC secretariat

It was a free-for-all at the Oyemekun Road, Akure State Secretariat of the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday as supporters of the governorship candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), and his challenger, Mr. Olusegun Abraham, clashed.
Several members of the party were injured as guns, machetes, bottles, sticks and charms were freely used.
Some passersby, trying to run away, were also injured in the close to two-hour clash as the combatants mistook them for sympathisers of the other camp.
For the duration of the fight, activities were paralysed on the popular road in the state capital.
Freedom Online learned that the crisis started when some Abraham’s supporters staged a protest against the candidature of Akeredolu.
To them, Akeredolu has been rejected by majority of the party supporters because he manipulated the September 3 primaries when he was declared the flagbearer of the party for the November 26 election.
Armed with placards such as ‘Abraham is our candidate’, ‘Akeredolu is an impostor’, ‘Ondo APC rejects Akeredolu’, ‘Abraham is the authentic winner of the September 3 primaries’, they moved from Fiwasaye Roundabout to the state secretariat, singing solidarity songs
At the secretariat, one Mr. Enas Mohammed, who led the protesters, described Akeredolu as “an impostor and manipulator”.
To him, the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) that there must be another primary election must stand.
He also said unprintable things about the national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for imposing Akeredolu on the party.
It was while he was talking that some loyalists of Akeredolu stormed the premises and started attacking Mohammed and his people.
Two of them went for Mohammed. Sensing danger, he ran for his life.
Many of them were injured.
Akeredolu’s supporters eventually chased them away.
But in less than 20 minutes, Abraham’s supporters mobilised themselves.
Armed with more dangerous weapons, they stormed the secretariat to dislodge Akeredolu’s supporters,
leading to more bloodshed.
The first batch of security agents who were sent to stop the fight could not approach the secretariat due to the sophistication of the weapons and number of combatants.
The state police command had to send another batch and they eventually chased the thugs away.
The police command was assisted by men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The Publicity Secretary of the party, Omooba Abayomi Adesanya, described Abraham’s supporters as mercenaries.
He said they were hired by some enemies of the party to cause confusion.
“Of course, Mr. Akeredolu is our candidate. These thugs were hired with just N2,000 each from Kogi, Ekiti and Edo states. We reliably gathered that they were mobilised to Akure to create an unnecessary scene and disrupt the peace we enjoy in our party and the state.
“The protesters are not our party members. We do not have hooligans in our party. All our members have accepted the decision of the party on Akeredolu’s candidature and are in various units and wards across the state mobilising for the party and the candidate. The party is supreme and its decision is binding on all members, irrespective of status. The public should disregard them and security agencies should do the needful”.

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