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Thugs disrupt Nasarawa PDP congresses

Thugs believed to have political affiliations yesterday allegedly thumbed up the widespread violence that trailed yesterday’s failed wards congresses of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)…

Thugs believed to have political affiliations yesterday allegedly thumbed up the widespread violence that trailed yesterday’s failed wards congresses of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State.

The congresses failed to hold in many areas in the state as the acrimony between the two factions belonging to former governors, Abdullahi Adamu and Aliyu Akwe Doma grew into violent confrontations in what congress committees preferred to stay and watch instead of conducting the exercise.

In Lafia, the state capital, thugs who the party chairman, Yunana Iliya, also a contender in the congresses, claimed were members of the CPC, stormed the secretariat of the party at about 12:00 noon and joined PDP thugs to seize the officials there. The thugs smashed windows, as they also smashed vehicles, including a jeep belonging to the state party chairman.

“We had reports that CPC thugs were going to attack us,” he told newsmen, adding that investigations showed party officials that CPC had interest in the PDP congresses because leaders of the party (CPC) wanted to place stooges in the opposition party.

He claimed that thugs who attacked the secretariat made away with N3 million cash, and a bank cheque of N500,000.

But Haruna Hamidu, state chairman of the CPC, denied that the party sent any thugs to participate in the widespread violence that marred the PDP exercise.

He told newsmen that any member of the CPC found at the PDP exercise did so without party’s consent, and should be arrested and handed to law enforcement officers.

The congresses failed to hold because violence was widespread, resulting from growing dissent over alleged hoarding of congress forms for members and their candidates.

Members of the Adamu-led faction alleged manipulations by the Chief Iliya-led executive, which is being backed by Doma. In Doma, hometown of one of the factional leaders, the congresses failed because Madauci, Sarkin Dawaki, Madaki and Nupeaw wards did not get congress forms and materials. The committee did not turn up for the exercise there.

State police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Cornelius Ocholi confirmed the violence in Lafia, but said the police acted swiftly and arrested 10 thugs.

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