James Sowole in Akure
Confusion on Tuesday ensued at the state secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akure, Ondo State yesterday as supporters of the Chairman of the party, Isaacs Kekemeke and supporters of those who wanted to install a new chairman clashed.
The incident was the third in a week on the forthcoming gubernatorial primary of the party fixed for August 27.
A group insisted that Kekemeke must quit the over an allegation that he was instrumental to the endorsement of an aspirant by the National Leader of the party, Senator Ahmed Tinubu and which had been causing crisis within the party.
Determined to remove Kekemeke, aggrieved supporters of the self-acclaimed new chairman, Saka Yussuf Ogunleye armed with various dangerous weapons stormed the party secretariat in order to take over the place.
However, the pro- Kekemeke group, who were also armed with their own weapons, repelled the invasion leading to exchange of weapons including gunshots.
While the anti-Kekemeke group was led by one Mr. Adebo popularly called Idajo, the pro-Kekemeke group was led by Alhaji Amoda Bello.
The acts displayed by the rival teams paralysed social and commercial activities on the popular Oyemekun- Adesida Road for several hours abandoned their wares and ran for dare lives.
The intervention of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operations, Mr. Edward Ajogun and the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in Charge of Akure Command, Mr. Olatoye Durosimi saved the situation from degeneration.
Addressing journalists after he gained access to the secretariat, Kekemeke said the aggrieved members have right to gather at the party secretariat and express their grievances against his leadership style.
The chairman, who frowned at the situation, said the aggrieved people constituted an embarrassment to the party and the executive.
Kekemeke said the grievances of some members are not justified as he does not have the power to conduct the party primaries or manipulate the delegate list as alleged by his enemies.
“I am to assure aspirants, members of the party and delegates to the primary election that the list of delegates will be as produced by Femi Pedro Congress Committee and as amended by the Chief Aro Lambo Congress Appeal Committee, both committees of the National Executive Council.
“As for the endorsement, it should be clear to all by now that endorsement is not synonymous with imposition. My view is that since all the delegates are known by all, being officials of the party at various levels, let endorsement contend with endorsement.”
Kekemeke said the August 27 fixed for the primary is sacrosanct and there would be free, fair and credible primary.