The secretariat of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was in the early hours of Monday barricaded by security operatives in the state over the move by members of the party to protest the continued absence of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu from the state.
The security agencies comprising the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) arrived at the party secretariat as early as 6:00 am.
The secretariat was cordoned off with barricades of no fewer than 13 patrol vans and one armoured personnel carrier (APC) with stern-looking security operatives mounting the entrance of the secretariat.
The youth wing of the party had vowed to protest the prolonged absence of the governor from the state.
According to the youths who were prevented from accessing the secretariat, there has been a vacuum of leadership in the state without anyone seen piloting its affairs
According to one of the leaders of the youth wing of the party, Tayo Oluyi, the protest was aimed at drawing attention to what they perceived as the governor’s negligence and the resultant negative impact on the state.
Meanwhile, the forceful intervention by the security agencies has sparked outrage among residents of the city, who claim that democratic rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression have been violated.
However, the party alleged Akeredolu and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of orchestrating the security forces’ intervention to suppress dissent and prevent their members from airing their grievances.