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Senator Gbemi Saraki

Abdulraheem, Gbemi Saraki, Bola Shagaya’s Supremacy Battle In Kwara
 
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Sun, 13 Apr 2014   ||   Nigeria,
 

 Ahead of 2015, power brokers within the Kwara state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have started to tackle one another. Abdullahi Olesin in this report docks Hajia Bola Shagaya, Senator Gbemisola Saraki and Professor Shuaib Abdulraheem over the recent bloody clash of PDP supporters that left three dead.

The kind of violence that characterized the 1983 and 2003 general elections in Kwara state reared its ugly head in Ilorin, the state capital on Monday, April 7, 2014 during the conduct of the ward congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The capital city of the state of harmony was thrown into pandemonium as a result of the alleged death of three members of the PDP during the fracas that ensued in some of the venue of the ward congresses.

Specifically, there were skirmishes at Sango area of Ilorin where the PDP secretariat is located, and Ajikobi ward, the stronghold of three leaders of the party. The leaders who hail from this ward are the billionaire business woman, Hajia Bola Muina Sagaya, the chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Prof. Shuaib Abdulraheem and the daughter of the late strongman of Kwara politics, Senator Gbemisola Saraki.

The crux of the matter is the lingering battle of supremacy among the three political gladiators, as each of them was desperately determined to have the control of the executives at the ward level.

LEADERSHIP gathered that at least three persons were shot at Sango ward following skirmishes that ensued during the exercise. However, the state police commissioner, Ambrose Aisabo confirmed the death of only one person.

It was gathered that the exercise turned violent in Sango area of Ilorin when a police man shot into the air in an attempt to control the rowdy situation but his gun fell down and was picked by a group of suspected hoodlums who refused to release it to the police.

In the process to forcefully retrieve the AK-47 rifle from the hoodlums, another police man was said to have shot at the suspected hoodlums in possession of the gun, thereby leading to pandemonium.

Some hoodlums also took the advantage of the crises to set up a bonfire along the area, thereby obstructing free flow of traffic.

Similarly, at Ajikobo central ward of Ilorin West local government area of the state, it was gathered that the exercise which started smoothly in the morning with large turn-out of members also turned violent around 2pm as it was disrupted midway.

LEADERSHIP investigation showed that officials of the party had insisted that members should present their party membership registration card baring holders’ photographs before they could be allowed entrance into Ansarul Islam Primary School, Okekere venue of the congress.

But the situation degenerated to a rowdy session leading to gun shot in the air. It was not however clear who fired the shorts.

 

Confirming the incident, the state police commissioner, Mr. Ambrose Aisabor said that, seven people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Aisabor said that, the affected people were said to be allegedly involved in the sporadic shooting that marred the congress.

The police boss who confirmed the death of only one person, however said, the police command would commence full investigations into the incident and any person found culpable would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hajiya Maryam Muhammed while confirming the incident, however expressed disappointment at the turn out of events.

And in the following day, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, the state police command arrested four suspects, believed to be members of PDP, for alleged possession of illegal firearms.

The deputy commissioner of police in the state (DCP), Zanna Ibrahim said the suspects were arrested on Tuesday morning in the residence of the state chairman of PDP, Solomon Edoja.

But Edojah had clarified that the suspects are not PDP members, though he confirmed that they were arrested at the frontage of his house.

It was also gathered that a PDP member of the state House of Assembly, was invited and interrogated by the state police command in connection with the allegation.

“Four suspects were arrested in Oyun area of the metropolis, in the house of the PDP chairman on Tuesday morning. One of the suspects, Olorunfemi Sola, was caught with a locally made gun and one live cartridge”, DCP Ibrahim said.

The DCP, who said investigation on the matter was still going on, added that further investigations would categorically reveal identity of other suspects.

In his reaction, the Caretaker chairman of the PDP in the state, Hon. Solomon Edojah, disclosed that the embattled PDP  lawmaker was invited by the police to explain what he knew about the matter.

“Some hoodlums were sited outside the premises of my lodge this morning and we discovered that about 90 percent of them were people masquerading like PDP members who whose mission was to foment trouble.

“When police arrested one of them and searched him thoroughly, he was caught with life ammunition and you will agree with me that it is typical of hoodlums to mention names of prominent person when arrested”, he said.

Reacting to the development, the state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), condemned the PDP in the state over what it described as current spate of wanton destruction of lives and property as a result of desperation and greed for political relevance.

The Interim State Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Sulyman Buhari, said it is disturbing that PDP has extended its gangsterism to blood-letting and senseless killings in a state known for peace and harmony.

According to Buhari, the fracas which took place at the PDP secretariat in Sango – Ilorin, between supporters of a former senator and the chairman of a federal commission at Ajikobi central ward in Ilorin, has once again brought to the fore “the kind of greed and selfishness of members of the PDP in the state”.

The statement reads in part: “Ordinarily the APC would not have bordered itself with happenings in the PDP, but because of our concern for innocent people of the state who might be affected by the fracas”.

“While the APC calls on the Kwara state Police Command to probe the senseless killings at PDP secretariat with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice, we urge the law enforcement agencies to be at alert because the PDP has vowed to make Kwara state ungovernable.

“The APC commiserates with the families of the deceased and calls for compensation by the PDP to ameliorate their sufferings”

 

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