ADO EKITI—There was commotion at the state secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, yesterday, as some aggrieved members of the party announced the suspension of the chairman, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe for alleged misappropriation of funds, corruption and inability to carry along other members of the Central Working Committee, CWC, of the party.
The party had been embroiled in controversy over moves to pick a consensus candidate for the 2014 governorship election.
The man at the centre of controversy, Chief Ogundipe, was also accused of unilaterally constituting the 11-member Screening Committee to pick the gubernatorial candidate for the 2014 governorship election.
In a statement by the party’s Public Relations Officer, Pastor Kola Oluwawole, the embattled chairman was suspended for one month, while his deputy, Mr. Femi Bamisile was asked to take over from him.
Trouble was said to have started when the public announcement of the new development, was disrupted by hoodlums.
Newsmen and party faithful subsequently ran for safety, as the hoodlums who were armed with guns, cutlasses and cudgels took over the secretariat while others fled.
The hoodlums indiscriminately fired into the air, apparently to scare away the group that had wanted to address the press conference
In the ensuing melee, the PDP state Legal Adviser and former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Kola Adefemi and state Auditor, Mr. Olatunji Olanrewaju, who were said to be loyal to the chairman, sustained head injuries.
But Chief Ogundipe, who was not at the party’s secretariat at the time of the tussle, claimed ignorance of his removal and the planned press briefing.
Members of the CWC, who signed the statement for the suspension on the chairman are, the Secretary of the party, Dr. Tope Aluko, Publicity Secretary, Pastor Kola Oluwawole, state Women’s Leader, Mrs. Busola Oyebode, PDP Vice Chairman, Central, Mr. Femi Ogunleye, State Organising Secretary, Alhaji Lateef Agbaje, the State Treasurer, Mr. Aluko.A.O. and the State Youth Leader, Mr. Tayelolu Olatunji.
Meantime, the Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, Mr. Victor Babafemi, said police have deployed men to the party secretariat to maintain law and order.
The police image maker, however, said no arrest have been made.