Protesters clash, turn against organisers –

Police occupation heightens tension in APC secretariat

From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

Activities at the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was temporarily grounded, yesterday, following a protest against the  planned Muslim-Muslim presidential  ticket.

The protesters who arrived the party’s secretariat in three buses, defied the downpour and took over Blantyre Street, housing the national headquarters of the ruling party and grounded vehicular and human traffic demanding that the party jettison the idea of same religion ticket.

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Though presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, is yet to submit a substantive running mate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), using Kabi Ibrahim Masari as dummy placeholder, there are speculations he could  tinker with the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket  to curry votes of the predominately Muslim north.

At yesterday’s protest, the crowd believed to have been rented, became stranded after the event and turned against the organisers who mobilised them for not fulfilling their part of the bargain.

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Some of the aggrieved protesters were seen shouting at the organisers and creating a scene.

Some others hid under the trees, while others were seen pleading with private security men guarding a nearby ECWA Church for shelter. They lamented that they were used and dumped.

A middle-aged woman who spoke to journalists said those who hired the protesters failed to remit the money  due to them and  also failed to transport them back home.

“They brought us from different places; from the outskirts of Abuja, I am from Dei-Dei, some are from Suleja, some from Maraba. We were told that we will get N3,000 each after the protest, but since we finished nobody is even talking to us and the bus that brought us has left,” she said.

Another protester flayed the organisers for abandoning them in the rain without any care.

“I was about going to my place of work this morning when our coordinator approached me that one man wanted us to protest at APC national secretariat, but since we finished about two hours ago, the coordinator and the man that invited us have disappeared and we are left in the rain.

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“I regret coming here to receive this kind of treatment and that was why some of us staged a counter protest against our mission here,” he said.

The protesters dispersed in disappointment around 2.30pm after waiting endlessly for settlement that never came.

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