Posted by News Express | 8 April 2014 | 4,875 times
There was tension in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, yesterday, as three persons were shot dead during ward congresses of the state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while four were injured.
At least, one person was shot dead at Sango ward following skirmishes that ensued during the exercise between the supporters of the two warring political leaders in the area.
In another centre along Kulende, it was gathered that the exercise turned violent when a policeman shot into the air in an attempt to control a rowdy situation. His gun fell and was seized by suspected hoodlums.
In trying to retrieve the AK 47 rifle, another policeman was said to have shot at the suspected hoodlums. Others also took advantage of the crises to set up a bonfire along the area, obstructing traffic flow.
Investigations showed that the battle for the political control of Ajikobi central ward of Ilorin West Local Government, where Senator Gbemi Saraki and Prof. Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem hail from, allegedly caused the violence.
The exercise, which started smoothly in the morning with a large turnout of members, turned violent around 2pm as it was disrupted by a disagreement between members of the two groups before the police waded in.
Investigation further revealed that officials of the party had insisted that members should present their party membership registration card bearing holders’ photographs before they could be allowed entrance into Ansarul Islam Primary School, Okekere venue of the congress, which some members resisted.
It was also gathered that in Oro, members also clashed over venues for the exercise.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of Kwara State Command, Ajayi Okasanmi, however, confirmed one death at press time, adding that seven suspects have been arrested over the incident.
He said: “We can only confirm that one person is dead. But we have arrested at least seven persons over the incident and investigations still continue. We have restored calm.”
•Being an amended version of a Vanguard report. Photo shows Senator Gbemi Saraki, whose Ajikobi central ward of Ilorin West was one of the areas that witnessed the violence.
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