Policemen on Wednesday took over the Ogun State Action Congress of Nigeria secretariat in Abeokuta to foil attempt by some members of the party to stage a protest against alleged plan by the ACN leadership to impose candidates on members for the July 21 council election in the state.
Our correspondent learnt that the angry members decided to hold a protest march at the secretariat over the plan, having demonstrated the previous day at the home of former governor Olusegun Osoba.
The protesters were surprised when they arrived at the secretariat only to be turned back by policemen.
They however gathered opposite the secretariat for hours before they were finally dispersed.
Party officials were nowhere to be found, apparently because of the fear of alleged plans by the protesters to attack them.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the development.
He said, “I’m aware of two teams patrolling the area. The patrol is not for the ACN secretariat alone. It is to provide security around that area. The police have not taken over the secretariat. We are not aware of any breakdown of law and order. Maybe the party officials have finished their business for the day and that’s why the place was locked.”
The state ACN Publicity Secretary, Sola Lawal, said, “Police presence at our secretariat, just as anywhere else in Nigeria, is a routine spectacle. Would you have preferred thugs taking over? Nothing to it.”
The protesters had accused some of the leaders of the party of conniving with a faction alleged to be loyal to Governor Ibikunle Amosun to pick candidates ahead of the council poll.
The protesters were said to have demanded that the party’s candidates for the election should emerge from the primaries, but their leaders allegedly ignored them.
The governor and the state ACN Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Bello, had announced the party had got candidates for the election, but they did not name the selected candidates.
Not happy with the development, hundreds of ACN supporters from various local government areas stormed Osoba’s residence on Tuesday, demanding his immediate intervention in the imposition of candidates.