The newly elected state executive committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogun State on Monday took over the secretariat of the party in Abeokuta.
The new state chairman of the party, Sikirulai Ogundele, led other officials to the secretariat located along Presidential Boulevard, Abeokuta to evict loyalists of a senator, Buruji Kashamu, who had occupied the facility.
There was a tussle over control of the PDP in the state until the national secretariat of the party constituted a caretaker committee to organise the congresses that produced the new leadership.
The Bayo Dayo-led faction loyal to Mr. Kashamu, the only senator of the party from the state, argued that a court had pronounced that its tenure would end in 2020. It said it got a court order stopping the caretaker committee from conducting the election of a new state executive committee.
But the national secretariat of the party dissolved the caretaker committee against which the court injunction had been issued. The national secretariat raised an electoral panel, which organised the congress for the fresh election on Saturday.
The new executives arrived with police officers and operatives of the State Security Services to dislodge the Mr. Dayo-led group and take over the state secretariat on Monday.
On arrival at the secretariat, the new executives peacefully sent out officials of the factional leadership from their offices and premises.
After gaining control, the new chairman, in company of other party officials, inspected the offices and general environment of the secretariat.
Speaking with journalists after the takeover, the new chairman, Mr. Ogundele said the action of his group was in line with a successful conduct of the congress that ushered in the new executive.
“We have come to take over property of PDP peacefully with the approval of the national secretariat of our party,” Mr. Ogundele explained.
He said there was no resistance from the officials that had occupied the place, just as he also promised that all aggrieved members would be reconciled in due course.
The chairman who said they got the backing of the police before moving in, however, said the secretariat had been vandalised with equipment worth N5 million allegedly carted away.
As at the time of filling this report, the dislodged factional chairman, Mr. Dayo, and secretary, Semiu Okanlawon, could not be reached for their reaction as their mobile phones were not accessible.