Modu-Sheriff, Makarfi Loyalists In Bloody Clash At PDP Headquarters | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Modu-Sheriff, Makarfi Loyalists In Bloody Clash At PDP Headquarters

Sheriff, Makarfi
Posted: Jun 17, 2016 at 4:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Rotimi Akinwumi

Abuja – Hell was let loose on Thursday at Wadata Plaza, the national secretariat complex of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja, where three ?persons were bloodied in a violent clash that ensued between the loyalists of former national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff and those supporting the caretaker committee under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

The fight was a continuation of the confrontation between contending camps in the party, which has become a daily affair at the secretariat as both camps struggle for control of the complex.

An amalgam of youth groups within the party had stormed the secretariat on Wednesday, chased away the former National Secretary, Prof Wale Oladipo and National Auditor, Adewole Adeyanju, who were in their offices, working as national officers of the party under the leadership of Modu-Sheriff faction.

The youths had also chained the gate of the party secretariat after locking up all offices at the party secretariat and handed over the keys to the chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin.

The occupation of the party secretariat on Wednesday by the youths took more than eight hours.

However, as the PDP youths departed, a group of another set of protesters chanting support for Modu-Sheriff stormed the party secretariat and broke all the padlocks used in sealing up the secretariat.

While leaving the secretariat about 8:30p.m on Monday, the supporters of Modu-Sheriff also got a new set of padlocks and sealed up the secretariat.

However, as early 6.30a.m, Thursday, loyalists of the Makarfi group had arrived at the secretariat and took charge while loyalists of Modu-Sheriff arrived about 30 minutes after.

Both camps sang praises of their principals and drummed vigorously with a view to drowning the voice of the opponents.

But as early as 8:45 a.m, minor scuffles started between the two groups as they made to outdo each other in the singing and shouting game.

However, real temper flared about 12:45 pm when the loyalists of Modu-Sheriff who were more in number charged at the Makarfi loyalists who had occupied the main gate of the party secretariat, in a bid to move them away and take the vantage position from them.

But the Makarfi group resisted stoically, a development that saw the two groups drawing sharp objects like knives and machetes which were freely used on one another. Other weapons like cudgel were also freely used.

After the melee, about three persons who were identified as supporters of Modu-Sheriff were seeing bleeding from gashes seen on their heads.

They were taken away for treatment by the coordinators of their group.

The drum set of the group were also scattered while slippers worn by the fighters littered the road.

As the dust settled, the supporters of Modu-Sheriff vacated the scene while the Makarfi loyalists took total control of the vicinity.

Meanwhile, as the fight lasted, the party’s gate was firmly under lock and key; while men of the police and Department of State Services (DSS) kept a distance and watched proceedings as they stood guard, protecting the party building from within the walls of the fence.

Even before the arrival of the different groups in the morning, men of the DSS had taken charge of the party’s building, while some other private bodyguards who had been providing security for Modu-Sheriff and his loyalists were seen sitted by the PDP national chapel building situated within the Wadata Plaza premises.

The security operatives were said to have been drafted to provide security for Modu-Sheriff who had planned to hold a press conference at the party secretariat, slated for 1:00p.m.

However, the press conference was postponed till the evening apparently to avoid being caught up in the fight.

About 5.25p.m, the media aide to Modu-Sheriff in a telephone interview told newsmen that the press conference had been shifted to a later date.

As at the time of filling in this report, more of Makarfi supporters were seen pouring into the vicinity of the party secretariat, and securing it firmly.

By 5:00p.m, the men of the DSS and the private bodyguards vacated the premises of the party secretariat while the Makarfi supporters continued dancing and singing outside the party secretariat without entering the premises which was left under the watch of about five policemen.