Two factions of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) were involved in a bloody clash in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital during the parties revalidation exercise which began yesterday.
The crisis which was suspected to have been between the group loyal to the State Governor, Mr Ibikunle Amosun and former governor of the state, Chief Olusegun Osoba was said to have been caused by unhealthy rivalry.
The fracas which occurred in Ward 15, Ibara area of Abeokuta South Constituency 2, resulted in several members, including a 70-year-old man, sustaining injuries.
During the ensuing melee, the party register was allegedly snatched away by the Amosun camp, popularly called SIA group, which brought the exercise to its abrupt end.
Nigeria Politics Online gathered that the police were said to be on the trail of the suspects.
The fight started when members who newly defected to the party and are loyalists to the incumbent said they want their names to appear first on the list a position which the Osoba’s faction resisted vehemently.
To get this done, the Amosun group had allegedly printed fake membership cards.
However, the party authorities, discovering the deceit, refused to register them. This led to a fight, with several party members beaten up and a physically challenged old man pushed to the floor.
Speaking to our correspondent, the ward chairman of the party, Nofiu Osayemi, who sustained bruises, said the exercise, which was on the order of the party authority, commenced smoothly at about 9.00 a.m. until about 10.25 a.m. when some suspected thugs arrived.
“They came with fake membership cards which we uncovered, insisting that their names should be in the first set of the register but we denied them because as new entrants to the party, the party leadership has instructed that their names should be in the supplementary list.”
He said, within a twinkle of an eye, the alleged intruders descended on members, beat them up and forcefully took away the party’s membership register.
Mr. Osayemi said he had since reported to the party leadership who in turn directed him to report to the police, which he had done.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer of the State Command, Mr Muyiwa Adejobi, said the Command has not be briefed promising to call our correspondent as soon as he receives information concerning the development.
“My office has not been briefed but if what you are telling me is true, I would inform accordingly on the matter as soon as possible.” He stated.