Barely five days after thugs disrupted an All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders meeting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, a fresh attack on party loyalists in Edu local government council area of the state, led to an abrupt end of another meeting on Monday February 8, 2021.
Monday’s meeting was convened to put finishing touches to preparations for Tuesday’s membership registration/revalidation exercise.
Recall that last Wednesday, violence erupted at a similar meeting of APC stakeholders at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Ilorin where more than 10 persons were seriously injured.
The latest round of violence erupted at a stakeholders meeting said to have been convened by former APC gubernatorial aspirants to sensitise members on the membership/ revalidation exercise.
It was gathered that; the meeting which started on a peaceful note, turned violent when suspected hoodlums stormed the venue.
In the ensuing melee, party stakeholders at the venue were attacked and some had their vehicles vandalized.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin after the incident, one of the APC leaders who witnessed the violence, Umar Shaaba, confirmed the incident. He described what happened as a repeat of the Ilorin episode.
According to him, hoodlums attacked the venue of the event and went straight for party leaders who were seated.
He urged security agencies to fish out perpetrators of the mayhem and bring them to justice.
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, said, “The administration has zero tolerance for violence. The development in Edu is unacceptable. Anyone found to have perpetrated the violence should be arrested and prosecuted. The Governor sympathises with those who had their properties damaged or sustained any form of injury. This is totally unacceptable.”
The statement also quoted the governor as cautioning people of the state against fake news because of its harmful effect on the peace and security of the state.
He also appealed to residents of the state to take advantage of the registration exercise.
Also, the state caretaker chairman of the APC, Alhaji Samari Abdullahi who equally confirmed Monday’s attack said, “I use this medium to condemn in the strongest terms possible the reported incident of violence in parts of Edu local government today, even as we await full briefings on what truly happened.
“Violence, under whatever guise, is unacceptable. We call on the security agencies to promptly arrest and prosecute anyone involved in unleashing violence on the people.”
In a related development, youths under the aegis of Concerned APC Youth Stakeholders, have approached an Upper Area Court in the state to seek for an injunction to restrain the Senator John Danboi-led registration committee from going ahead with the registration exercise.
Joined in the suit were the state chairman of the party, Abdulahi Samari, and the APC.
Spokesperson of the group, John Adegboyega, who made this public in Ilorin on Monday said going ahead with the exercise without resolving the issues on group could lead to a breakdown of law and order.
The suit with number UACG/cv/20/2021, was filed in an Upper Area Court of Kwara state, in the Ganmo judicial division on Monday, February 8, 2021.
In it, the group alleged that party stakeholders including supporters of the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, the Minister of State for Transport, Gbemisola Saraki, other party chieftains such as Akogun and Fagbemi, were denied entry into Wednesday’s which turned violent.
It read in part, “The plaintiffs aver further that if the re-registration exercise proceeds as planned by the defendants most of the members of the association will be disenfranchised, including the plaintiffs, which will amount to violation of their fundamental human rights to freedom of association.”
In Plateau State, the state APC chairman Mr. Letep Dabang assured all members of the party as well as interested Nigerians that the exercise will be peaceful and all-inclusive, he promised that no eligible Nigerian will be denied registration.