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Hoodlums ‘invade’ venue of SDP NEC meeting in Abuja

Hoodlums ‘invade’ venue of SDP NEC meeting in Abuja
May 18
23:38 2022

Police officers, on Wednesday, reportedly foiled an attempt to disrupt the national executive council (NEC) meeting of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Abuja.

Suspected hoodlums were said to have invaded the venue of the meeting at Merit House, Maitama District, Abuja.

Members of the party who came from across the country were reportedly chased out of the venue, with some sustaining injuries.

Following the incident, Supo Shonibare, the party’s acting national chairman, departed the venue and reported the incident to the Maitama police station.

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Shonibare was then escorted to the venue by police officers whose presence dispersed the thugs.

TheCable understands that police officers were earlier on the ground to ensure safety at the meeting, but left around 8am to provide security support to operatives at Dei Dei where a crisis broke out.

Addressing the NEC members when normalcy was restored, Shonibare blamed the attack on a faction of the party.

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“It looks as if people are now attempting to usurp the leadership of SDP, and are now resorting to violence, and that has never been our practice in SDP,” he said.

“They are resorting to telling lies; they ignored the court process so our only option now is to actually report what is happening to our lawyers.

“We have made our deliberations about the event that is forthcoming, which we should presume we’ve all accepted the recommendations of the national working committee deliberations for congresses.

“We will also seek legal redress for those who were injured when the meeting was invaded. We will report this matter to the police ourselves and take up the matter with our lawyers.

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“So, I thank all of you for coming from various parts of the country, from the east and west and I know that some of you have taken part in the earlier deliberations have never left us but it’s important that we have met as national exco and we have approved all the programmes of the party, state congresses and national convention.

“I thank you all and we will continue to be in touch with you on the development of the party.”

The SDP is embroiled in a leadership crisis, with two groups competing for control of the party, which has turned into a legal battle.

Shonibare leads the group which claims to be the “authentic leadership” of the party, while the Shehu Gabam-led faction is recognised by the Independent  National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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