Security details attached to national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, and members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) yesterday engaged in a brawl at the party’s national secretariat over the recent elections conducted by the students’ association.
The NANS members said they were at the secretariat to brief the APC leadership of the outcome of their elections held recently.
It took the intervention of security operatives, including policemen, who fired teargas canisters to disperse the angry students, just as staff of the secretariat scampered for safety.
To forestall a breakdown of law and order, security was quickly beefed up around the national secretariat, while security personnel deployed to guard the place and the students went berserk and attacked themselves in physical fight.
LEADERSHIP gathered that trouble started when security details attached to the national chairman attempted to prevent the NANS members from entering the venue of a meeting of the party’s national working committee (NWC).
One of the security operatives said a national youth leader aspirant who stepped down for the current youth leader had led a delegation to brief the party leadership about the NANS election.
The security personnel who did not want his name in print noted that Dada was at the APC secretariat on the directive of the APC national youth leader to brief the NWC on how some moles of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in APC tried to hijack the election.
He said Dada was prevented from entering the venue of the NWC meeting but insisted on gaining entrance.
“The desperate attempt by Dada and other members of NANS compelled police to fire teargas at them, which led to the situation becoming rowdy.
“The surprising thing is that Dada is not a stranger at the secretariat because he worked for some years here. But he was not however diplomatic in handling the situation; otherwise it would not have degenerated to the extent of using several canisters of teargas to disperse them.
“Yes, Dada was on a genuine mission as directed by the youth leader to brief the leadership on how PDP elements in APC have hijacked the election.
“But what we cannot understand was why he came with those hefty boys that fought the security agents. It was so bad that the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the party was molested by the boys who came with Dada.”
LEADERSHIP further learnt that the brawl was not unconnected with the cold war between the national chairman of the party and its presidential candidate from NANS factions loyal to them.
“One of the candidates for today’s election, Umar Farouk from BUK Kano is Tinubu’s choice, while Usman Baba Kankia from ABU Zaria is the initial choice of Abdullahi Adamu and the presidency. However, Usman Baranbu Federal University Dutse is the popular choice of student leaders and stakeholders. So, what happened at the secretariat was a display of force and a dress rehearsal and litmus test of what to expect during Thursday’s NANS election,” a source alleged.
After the fracas, the APC national chairman came out of the NWC meeting and left the secretariat in his convoy.
But one of his aides however said it was not true that Adamu left the secretariat because he was afraid that the situation may lead to a total breakdown of security.
“There is no iota of truth in the speculation that our chairman hurriedly left the secretariat because of the fracas. I can confirm to you that he went to Keffi, Nasarawa State, to attend a function. Let me also let you know that the national secretary spent several hours with the leader of the delegation, Dada, to sort things out,” he said.