From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Pandemonium broke out in Ondo State secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akure, when supporters of the governorship candidate of the party, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and those of, Dr Olusegun Abraham engaged in a bloody free-for-all.
The melee, which led to temporary closure of the popular Oyemekun Road, where the secretariat was located led many supporters of the two APC stalwarts injured.
Also, properties worth millions of naira were destroyed by irate APC members at the state secretariat of the party during the clash.
It, however, took the intervention of soldiers and armed Policemen who shot sporadically into the air before warring members of the party could disperse.
Trouble started when some loyalists of Abraham, who met at the party’s secretariat, demanded the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun and also asked Akeredolu to step down.
Abraham’s loyalists, who had earlier staged a peaceful protest against Akeredolu’s victory with a march round major streets in Akure, also called for fresh primary election.
Armed with various placards, the protesters described the last governorship election of the party as a scam and called on the leadership of the party to redress the alleged anomaly.
However, the protesters were eventually attacked by people suspected to be loyalists of Akeredolu when they were about rounding off the protest at the party’s secretariat.
Various weapons including cutlasses, axes and charms were brandished while the violent clash lasted.
It was gathered that both Abraham and Akeredolu were later invited by the state Commissioner of Police, Mrs Hilda Harrison.
Addressing his supporters who later converged on his residence in Akure, Abraham said he would do everything within the law to reclaim his mandate, which he claimed was stolen and insisted that he won the September 3 governorship primary election of the party, having polled the highest number of lawful votes and he should, therefore, be declared the party’s standard bearer in the November poll in the state.
Abraham said over 10,000 of his supporters, drawn from all the 18 Local Government Areas of the state, mobilised themselves to defend their votes through the protest.
He insisted that the only thing that could bring peace back to the party was for his mandate to be restored.
Also, Abraham said he may be forced to take a legal action if the party fails to restore his mandate and alleged Akeredolu was mastermind of the attack against his loyalists who he claimed were on peaceful rally when they were attacked.