20 Injured In Kogi PDP Primaries’ Violence

20 Injured In Kogi PDP Primaries’ Violence

No fewer than 20 persons were reportedly injured on Saturday following the violence that accompanied the Peoples Democratic Party council primaries in Kogi State.

Among those injured, our correspondent gathered, was the PDP Chairman for Yagba West Local Government, Mr. Ayo Alabi.

The Kogi State Police Command had meanwhile arrested 23 persons in connection with the violence.

The immediate past Liaison Officer for Yagba LG, Mr. Tunji Aro, and his elder brother, Godwin, were among those allegedly arrested by the police.

Our correspondent gathered that the police arrested 21 other culprits even as the search for others linked to the violence continued on Sunday.

The primaries were a prelude to the local government election slated for May 4.

Alabi, who is said to be receiving treatment in a hospital, allegedly sustained injury on the head.

The crisis was alleged to have erupted when some party members reportedly protested against the party’s guidelines for the primaries.

In the ensuing pandemonium, youths suspected to be thugs, invaded the party secretariat unleashing violence on the party faithful, particularly government functionaries.

The thugs, said to be loyal to a faction, had reportedly invaded the secretariat at Odo Ere, Yagba LG headquarters and allegedly overpowered the police detachment deployed for the exercise.

They were said to have beaten Alabi and the council secretary, Idowu Afolabi, to a pulp.

Our correspondent gathered that it took extra efforts by the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Odo Ere, who mobilised more men from neighbouring Egbe Police station, to rescue the party officials from further harm.

Alabi told journalists at the Odo Ere Divisional Police Headquarters that his ‘‘narrow escape from death’’ was because of divine intervention.

Some irate youths also allegedly attacked the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Olufemi Bolarin, near Odo Ere.

A Hilux van, conveying a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Mrs. Justina Abanida, was also ambushed. Her attackers smashed the windscreen of the van.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ajayi Okesanmi, when contacted on Sunday said he was not in town to confirm the number of arrests and the level of destruction.

He   asked our correspondent to return the call in 30 minutes time. He, however, did not pick his calls at the agreed time.

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