Business activities in Akure, the Ondo State capital, was paralyzed for three hours as supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship aspirant, Mr. Segun Abraham and those of the party’s flag bearer, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, clashed.
Abraham was said to have mobilised his supporters from Ikare-Akoko to protest against the candidature of Akeredolu, which caused gridlock for several hours at the popular Oba-Adesida/Oyemekun road.
Scores of supporters and passersby sustained injuries.
Sources within the party said a national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has allegedly directed Abraham and his supporters to continue to protest against Akeredolu since he was said to have asked Chief Olusola Oke to decamp to Alliance for Democracy, AD.
It will be recalled that Tinubu had been in a loggerhead with the national leadership of APC since his godson, Abraham lost the party’s ticket for the Ondo governorship election.
Abraham’s supporters, armed with placards bearing inscriptions such as “With Abraham we stand” “Restore Abraham’s mandate” “Abraham is APC’s candidate” and “ Abraham is the authentic winner of September 3 primary”, moved from Fiwaye Rounabout to the party secretariat.
On getting to the secretariat, the leader of the protesters, Mr Enas Mohammed addressed reporters where he gave reasons for the rejection of Akeredolu as the candidate of the party.
He said the appeal committee set up by the National Working Committee of the party had ordered for rerun of the primary.
He added that Abraham should be restored as authentic candidate of the party.
Pandemonium was said to have broken out when supporters of Abraham allegedly destroyed posters of Akeredolu.
This was said to have infuriated loyalists of Akeredolu, thereby disrupting the protest.
It was gathered that some policemen, men of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and journalists ran for their lives.
The security personnel had to stay about 200 meters away from the party secretariat in order to escape the dangerous weapons used by the rival groups.
But the party’s Publicity Secretary, Omooba Abayomi Adesanya described the protesters protesting against Akeredolu’s candidature as hired hungry youths from Kogi, Ekiti and Edo states who could do anything for just N2000.
Adesanya, in a statement, said, “we reliably gathered that these people, who are majorly youths and students were hired from neighboring states and tertiary institutions after been given N2000 each and were mobilized to Akure, the state capital, to create an unnecessary scene and disrupting the peace we enjoy in the State.
“The protesters are not our Party members. We do not have hooligans in our Party. All our member have accepted the decision of the Party on Akeredolu’s candidature and are in various units and wards across the state mobilizing for the Party and its candidate. The Party is supreme and its decision is binding on all members irrespective of status. The public should disregard them and security agencies should do the needful,” the statement read.