The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of assembling and mobilising thugs who caused chaos at the PDP secretariat on Thursday.
There was a clash at the entrance of the PDP national secretariat in Abuja between alleged supporters of PDP and supporters of APC.
According to Channels TV, the fight resulted in a stampede as people scampered for safety. The situation was quickly prevented from escalating as police officers arrived at the scene and dispersed the crowd with tear gas.
A witness told the TV station that the fight started when the PDP supporters spotted someone among them displaying a flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party told the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, “to rein in his party thugs, who the APC detailed to disrupt activities at the PDP National Secretariat.”
“The whole world witnessed with dismay, how APC thugs, brandishing their party’s famished brooms and charms; armed with machetes and other dangerous weapons stormed our national secretariat which has become a beehive of activities and attacked and wounded our members and supporters before they were dispelled by security operatives.
“The PDP had repeatedly warned against APC’s proclivity for violence and unprovoked attacks, but we never imagined that their desperation for power will drive them to the insanity of attacking our national secretariat.
“Intelligence report available to the PDP shows that the thugs were assembled and mobilised from the National Secretariat of the APC,” part of the statement read.
The opposition party charged security agencies, who also witnessed this attack, to immediately investigate this development, arrest and prosecute all individuals and officials connected with the attack.
Effort to get the reaction of the APC spokesperson, Yekinni Nabena, were unsuccessful as his known telephone number could not be reached.
A PDP presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, has however condemned the attack describing it as uncalled for and undemocratic.
He called on supporters of all political parties to show maturity and allow the democratic process to proceed unhindered in the interest of the parties and aspirants as well as the nation. He also urged his supporters to show restraint even in the face of provocation.
Mr Abubakar commended the police and other security personnel for containing the situation and protecting innocent and law abiding supporters at the venue. He advised that Nigerians should allow peace to reign “in order for leadership selection process to be reliable and credible.”
He also expressed optimism that with the neutral and effective conduct by the police, there is hope that Nigeria would get the 2019 elections right to the satisfaction of all Nigerians.