Several party members sustained injuries including a 70-year old man.
The factions- one headed by the former governor, Olusegun Osoba, and the other by the incumbent, Ibikunle Amosun, engaged in a free-for-all fight at the party’s membership re-validation exercise in Abeokuta.
The fracas which occurred in Ward 15, Ibara area of Abeokuta South Constituency 2, resulted in several members, including a 70-year-old man, sustaining injuries.
During the fracas, the party register was allegedly snatched away by the Amosun camp, popularly called SIA group, ending the exercise abruptly. As at the time of this report, the police were said to be on the trail of the suspects.
The bone of contention was that the governor’s loyalists, who recently defected to the party, wanted their names to be the first set on the new register, contrary to what was on the original list. To get this done, the Amosun group had allegedly printed fake membership cards.
However, the party authorities, discovering the deceit, refused to register them. This led to a fight, with several party members beaten up and a physically challenged old man pushed to the floor.
The old man was soon rescued and taken away from the fighting but in the course of it all, the alleged troublemakers made away with the party register.
Speaking to our correspondent, the ward chairman of the party, Nofiu Osayemi, who sustained bruises, said the exercise, which was on the order of the party authority, commenced smoothly at about 9.00 a.m. until about 10.25 a.m. when some suspected thugs arrived.
‘They came with fake membership cards which we uncovered, insisting that their names should be in the first set of the register but we denied them because as new entrants to the party, the party leadership has instructed that their names should be in the supplementary list.”
He said, within a twinkle of an eye, the alleged intruders descended on members, beat them up and forcefully took away the party’s membership register.
Mr. Osayemi said he had since reported to the party leadership who in turn directed him to report to the police, which he had done before he spoke to PREMIUM TIMES.
The party ward registrar, Tunji Fagbenro, in his own account, declared that the alleged culprits were part of the Amosun faction that joined the party mid-way and are now insisting on becoming overlords.
Mr. Fagbenro, who was also beaten up, said the six-day exercise which started smoothly on Thursday was disrupted by the gang on Friday. He said the police have been informed and have assured that the suspects will be apprehended.