The ongoing membership registration exercise of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo state was disrupted, on Thursday, as party members engaged in a free-for-all over substitution of names.
Party members, who were present at the centre in Oke-Ogun, said several persons were injured and had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.
A former council chairman in Oke-Ogun was also reportedly stripped naked and beaten by members of a rival party faction.
A source, who preferred anonymity, alleged that loyalists of the late Abiola Ajimobi, immediate past governor of Oyo, led by a former commissioner, attempted to substitute names of committee members from other camps within the party.
The committee members are expected to supervise the registration exercise in all local government areas.
“The former commissioner, who now leads the Ajimobi faction of the party (SENACO), removed names of members from Lam Adesina group, called Lamists; the African Democratic Party group, and the Peoples Democratic Party returnees and replaced it with names of members from the SENACO group,” the source claimed.
“There is an agreement that stipulates that all factions must be dissolved for the sake of oneness and unity of the party in the state. But what the former commissioner did was against the agreement. There were APC officials from Abuja, who came to supervise the process and ensure equal representation. They witnessed the fracas.”
When contacted Olugbenga Fadeyi, the state police public relations officer, for confirmation, he said the command has no knowledge of such incident.
Efforts to reach Abdul-Azeez Olatunde, the Oyo APC director of media and strategy, was not successful, but a prominent member of the party in the state, who also preferred not to be named, said violence broke out when some leaders from rival groups attempted to relegate Ajimobi loyalists to the background.
“We cannot blame SENACO members for fighting for their right. There will always be disagreement when you relegate other group members from such important exercise. The SENACO group felt cheated. They also felt that since Ajimobi died, other groups within the party have been looking down on them,” the party member added.
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