The National Secretariat of All Progressives Congress, APC, was on Monday, literally, a battleground as state chairmen that emerged from parallel State Congresses conducted recently jostled for recognition during the ceremony to inaugurate authentic chairmen.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that security operatives, positioned at both the main entrance and gate leading into the building, had their hands filled trying to curtail the surging party members and their supporters.
The situation was rowdy almost all through the duration of the event as factional chairmen and their supporters battled endlessly to gain entrance into the main hall.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, and that of Communication Adebayo Shittu were denied entrance into the hall despite efforts by their security details to get them in.
The situation degenerated into a shouting match and threats by supporters of the factions denied entrance which resulted in the security agents releasing canister of teargas to disperse the protesters.
The minster of Women Affairs whose faction was already in the hall, however, said she was not bothered that she was denied entrance into the hall, saying that such situations were normal in politics.
“I was not disappointed at all that I was denied entry into the hall, because I was made to understand that the National Working Committee restricted the entrance into the hall to only the chairmen for security reasons.
“As a politician, I am not surprised over what happened,” she said.
The factional chairman of the Minister of Communication was, however, not allowed entrance into the hall while the faction loyal to the State Governor, Abiola Ajumobi was allowed in.
Defending the decision to deny the two ministers entrance, a secretariat staff who pleaded anonymity said they were not officially invited for the function.
He added that the ministers only came to ensure that their factional chairmen were among those inaugurated.
However, normalcy was restored shortly after the inauguration as the vanquished stormed out of the secretariat, while the victor celebrated with music and dances.
Outstanding among the victors were the Imo state delegation whose happiness knew no bound following the swearing in of Hilary Eke as the authentic chairman.