Yusuf Bakare, Ilorin.
No fewer than 30 political thugs during the week invaded and distrusted a gathering holding at the Labour House venue of their meeting where members of a faction of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) were having a media chat.
The media parley was about coming to a close when the political thugs forced their way into the Labour House owned by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), disrupted and descended heavily on the conveners of the meeting.
One of the victims of the attack was Elder James Olajide, a factional Chairman of the SDP in the Ifelodun local government area of the state, suffered serious beaten mercilessly, rending his dress torn into shred while his cap was also seized aside from being dragged on bear floor by the thugs.
The invading thugs kept shouting on the man, “Baba Ifelodun, why did you take money from AA to disrupt our party”.
The thugs also beat and drove away an elderly man who cannot be less than seventy years ol, walking with aid of walking stick, among others.
The publicity secretary of a faction of the SDP, Kareem Lekan Akanbi, had earlier announced the suspension of eight members from the party, signalling a leadership crisis within the party.
The convener of media parley were discovered to be some of the members said to have been suspended for the alleged anti-party activities.
Before the hoodlums arrived to distrust the parley, the factional chairman of the SDP (Original), Ibrahim Mabolaje Yahaya, had stated that some former members of the All Progressives Congress (APC loyal), who recently joined the party, planned to hijack their party from the pioneer executive of the party.
“It is no longer news that a faction of the All Progressives Congress party in Kwara state (i.e APC Loyal) formally applied to join our party, the SDP vide a letter to SDP National Secretariat dated 9th March, 2022 by a reply letter dated 11th March 2022.
“The National Secretariat of SDP acknowledged the APC Loyal letter and their intention to join the SDP in Kwara State with a promise to work on a harmonization arrangement on how their interests will be accommodated.
“While the original SDP members in Kwara State under my leadership were waiting for further directives from National Secretariat, we were shocked to hear about a purported State congress of Kwara SDP held on 26th April, 2022 which was stage-managed by the Kwara APC Loyal group in collaboration with some officials of SDP National Secretariat.
The main aim of the kangaroo state congress election of SDP on 26th April, 2022 was to hijack the party (SDP) from the original members of the party who had worked tirelessly to bring the party to its enviable position in Kwara State.
“The said congress was held in contravention to the SDP constitution. Also the original members of Kwara SDP were denied participation in the said congress contrary to relevant provision of the Electoral Act 2022.
I wish to inform this august gathering that we have protested the said purported state congress of Kwara SDP held on 26th April, 2022 at the Kwara APC Loyal Secretariat to the National Secretariat of the party.
“Also, we have instructed our team of lawyers who have since swung into action to challenge in court the legality of the purported state congress of the Kwara SDP held on 26th April 2022”.