Fight broke out between the supporters of two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State on Saturday over the alleged manipulation of the process and result of congresses held in some wards in the state.
It was not clear if the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the PDP in the state, Mr. Sarafa Isola, and other members of the committee were present at the party secretariat along Gbogan-Osogbo Road when the fight broke out.
A source told our correspondent on Sunday that the fight started with a heated argument before it graduated to accusations and counter-accusations with members of the two factions starting a free-for-all around 5.30pm on Saturday.
He added that the situation was prevented from degenerating further by operatives of the Department of State Services present at the secretariat.
The DSS operatives were said to have fired shots repeatedly into the air to scare away the fighters before peace was restored.
The source said, “ The operatives of the DSS had to rescue some of the politicians and ferried them away from the scene to prevent them from being killed. They shot into the air before they could do this and there was panic in the area as people fled.”
However, some members of the PDP claimed that hoodlums went to the secretariat to attack the interim chairman but he was rescued by the DSS operatives.
A prominent leader of the party, who also spoke on condition of anonymity with our correspondent, accused Isola of “obviously working for Omisore.”
He said that this alleged bias might work against the PDP in the next governorship election holding in the state in 2018 if it was not properly addressed now.
Efforts to speak with Isola, who was accused of working for Omisore’s faction, were unsuccessful.
The former minister did not pick calls placed across to his telephone and did not reply the text message sent to him by our correspondent.
Also, a former factional chairman of the party, Mr. Soji Adagunodo, neither picked his calls nor replied the text message sent to his telephone.
The chairman of the former faction of PDP loyal to Omisore, Dr. Bayo Faforiji, when contacted on the telephone, however, debunked the allegation of bias against the chairman.
He said, “Those claiming that the chairman is working for Omisore are not being fair. The chairman appointed neutral people to conduct congresses in the state but you know that politicians will always complain when an election does not go the way they expected. “
A member of the caretaker committee, Mr. Bamidele Salam, when contacted debunked the claim that gunmen stormed the secretariat to kill Isola.
Salam said, “There was a fight and the DSS had to fire shots into the air in order to get somebody who was attacked away from the scene. Some people came to complain and there was a fight but you know the usual security strategy to scare people away.
“That was what happened the caretaker committee chairman was not attacked by gunmen. That is not true. Some four local governments had issues concerning the ward congresses and they mobilised people to the secretariat and a fight broke out.
The chairman was not attacked at all.