THE supremacy battle in Ogun State chapter of PDP took a new dimension on Tuesday, as tens of political thugs alleged to be loyal to Ogun East senator, Buruji Kashamu, attacked a member representing Remo federal constituency, Honourable Oladipupo Adebutu, at the party’s convention in Port Harcourt.
Adebutu was said to have been stripped almost naked by thugs who attacked him at the car park of the hotel, where he and other delegates from Ogun State lodged.
Kashamu and Adebutu had been locked in a supremacy battle for the control of the soul of the party in the state.
Narrating his ordeal to the Nigerian Tribune on telephone, Honourable Adebutu said it was by the grace of God that he was not killed.
“I thank God I was not killed. I will do a special thanksgiving in church on Sunday, when I get home. I have never seen anything like this since I joined politics.
“Kashamu mobilised hundreds of thugs from Lagos State to the venue of the convention. The thugs swooped on me at the car park of the hotel where we lodged. The thugs told me that the convention we came for was illegal and I told them to allow us go ahead, whether it was illegal or not.
“They just descended on me and stripped my dress and continued to beat me. They overpowered me. They said I was stubborn and would force me to bow to Kashamu. I started shouting ‘help, help, help.’
“I ran to the reception of the hotel to take cover. My distress shout attracted the attention of other delegates and those from Senator Ahmed Makarfi’s camp, who came to rescue me from the jaws of death.
“The whole game looks like they are being sponsored to ensure that PDP does not survive as an opposition party that is reforming to take back central government in 2019.
“But I will not be deterred. PDP must be reformed as a party for the people and not a party which a clique will turn to a means of livelihood. PDP must return to winning ways and we can’t afford to continue with the unproductive old order,” he said.
Reacting, Kashamu, speaking through his media aide, Mr Austin Oniyokor, said there was no contact between him and Honourable Adebutu.
“Senator Kashamu had gone to the Presidential Hotel in Port Harcourt, in company with members of the BoT of the party.
“As he made to leave and walked towards the car park, he saw Honourable Adebutu and instead of him to extend the usual courtesy expected from a younger one to the elderly, he (Adebutu) began to shout in Yoruba, saying ‘what are you doing here? Go to Sheriff’s convention.’
“At that point, a stupefied Senator Kashamu wondered what was wrong with Adebutu and beckoned on one of his aides to ask why he (Adebutu) was so unruly.
“When Senator Kashamu sought to move closer to him to have a brotherly discussion, Adebutu rebuffed him and then sped towards the hotel’s reception, where he again began to shout on top of his voice, asking Kashamu to go to Sheriff’s convention.
“At that point, the senator left him, entered his vehicle and drove off. You can, therefore, imagine our consternation upon reading the report of an imaginary attack,” Oniyokor said.