The membership registration exercise of the All Progressive Congress (APC) turned violent on Wednesday in Kwara State as members of two factions of the party clashed violently in Ilorin.
The violence erupted at the Banquet Hall of Government House where a meeting was holding ahead of the registration exercise.
The APC registration and revalidation committee called the meeting to ensure a smooth registration exercise amid the protracted crisis in the party in Kwara which worsened after the removal of Bashir Bolarinwa as the party chairman.
Mr Bolarinwa was removed by the national caretaker committee of the party led by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni. He was replaced with Abdullahi Samari two weeks ago.
The development was a fallout of a rift between Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and a group of party leaders led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
Although the national and North-central leaders of the party have intervened in the rift, no solution has been found.
This led to fears of the factions conducting parallel registration exercises in the state.
According to witnesses, the Wednesday clash started after supporters of Governor AbdulRazaq stopped Mr Bolarinwa and his supporters from entering the Banquet Hall for the meeting.
This newspaper gathered that the governor’s office had mobilised Mr AbdulRazaq’s supporters to the venue.
A female supporter of the governor reportedly charged at Mr Bolarinwa after he managed to enter the hall.
This led to exchange of blows and throwing of chairs between the rival sets of supporters, the source told our reporter.
Videos and pictures obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed some supporters of Mr Bolarinwa with injuries while the vehicle of one of them was damaged.
But the spokesperson of the APC in the state, Tajudeen Aro, said ”supporters of the former chairman were the agressors”.
“It was BOB (Mr Bolarinwa) who came into the hall with his thugs to disrupt the meeting,” Mr Aro said.
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