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Protest Rocks Kwara PDP Secretariat, As Protesters Denounce Party’s Chair Emergence



Aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara state yesterday in Ilorin protested the emergence of Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo as the party’s state chairman.

Oyedpo had during the recent state congress of the party emerged its state chairman, having polled 220 votes to beat his arch rival, Prince Sunday Fagbemi who scored 217 votes. Fagbemi has appealed the outcome of the Congress before the PDP’s Appeal Panel.

The protesters, who had gathered at the party’s secretariat along ASA Dam road, Ilorin as early as 8.30am were denied entry by security agents, but  eventually forced their way in and began to hurl stones and other items at Oyedepo’s team which was in a meeting with former Ogun state governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

The meeting with Daniel which had in attendance former gubernatorial candidate of the party, Senator Simon Ajibola and other executive members came to an end abruptly before the former governor could address the delegates.

 Daniel and his team were thereafter guided out of the premises while members of the two factions continued to exchange brickbats.

The protesters carried placard with various  inscriptions demanding for the removal of Oyedepo from office.

It was gathered that Daniel had earlier met Oyedepo and some stakeholders at Ajibola’s house before coming to the secretariat.

The party’s leadership had initially scheduled the campaign to hold in Ajibola’s house due to security reports that hinted of possible fracas at the party’s secretariat but succumbed to arguments that Ajibola’s house does not represent the official domicile of the party.

Soon after Daniel left the venue, the face-off between the two factions became worse and the policemen stationed around the secretariat had to call for reinforcement to disperse the protesters. After their departure, broken bottles were seen all over the entrance to the secretariat.

Reacting to the fracas, Oyedepo expressed dismay over the development, describing the election that brought him into office as free and fair.

He noted that his opponent in the election has already approached the electoral appeal pane of the party; hence his supporters should be patient enough for the outcome of the process.

Oyedepo also criticised the role of security operatives in the fracas, saying it was surprising that the police could be easily overwhelmed by hoodlums even after they had given them enough notice to prepare them for such an occurrence.

He alleged that the protest was sponsored by external forces that is bent on destroying the party and appealed to all stakeholders to rise to the occasion and ensure the proper reconciliation of all parties in the conflict, pointing out that if the party should continue in its current form, winning an election would be an herculean task.

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