By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The battle for supremacy between two of the most powerful female politicians in Lagos; Mrs Kemi Nelson, the South West Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Mrs Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, the Women Leader of Lagos Chapter of the APC, appears to have taken a new dimension as the supporters of the two gladiators have resorted to physical combats.
Reports from the women indicated that the matter has culminated into attacks and counter-attacks by their supporters and we gathered that these have led to body injury and destruction of properties.
Just as pictures of Alhaja Abiodun, Mrs Okoya’s Personal Assistant, who was allegedly seriously injured, have been flying around, a video has equally surfaced, under police supervision, where the office of Mrs Nelson was destroyed by thugs alleged to have been sent from the camp of Mrs Okoya-Thomas.
There have been different versions to the story, but the woman, whose name is being peddled to have battered the PA of Mrs Jumoke Okoya Thomas, Miss Ayo Alli-Balogun narrated what she said led to the crisis.
Ms Ayo Alli-Balogun is a Human Development Consultant and Politician and an APC stalwart and loyalist as well as a mentee of Mrs Kemi Nelson.
According to her, “I feel I owe it to you all to give a summed up explanation on what happened on 27th of August, 2018 at the All Progressives Congress State party secretariat.
“For a while now, Mrs Jumoke Okoya-Thomas (APC Lagos State Women Leader) has been on a war path with APC South-West Women Leader, Mrs Kemi Nelson for reasons best known to her.
“I, Ayo Alli-Balogun became aware of Hon Jumoke’s detest for her superior and South-West Women Leader of our great party, All Progressives Congress at the final mega campaign rally of H.E Kayode Fayemi days before the Ekiti State gubernatorial elections 2018.”
Alli-Balogun alleged that Hon. Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, out of nowhere and no provocation, started raining insults on Mrs Kemi Nelson that, she, Madam Jumoke was not allowed into the VIP pavilion of the rally.
She stated that whilst Madam Jumoke was raining her insults, she saw her (Alli-Balogun) and immediately verbally attacked her calling her “Aja Kemi Nelson” meaning Kemi Nelson’s dog!
“I ignored her and proceeded to my seat. Madam Jumoke Okoya-Thomas’ attack on my person came to a head on Wednesday 22nd August 2018 at the country home of the Lagos State Governor, H.E Ambode during His Excellency’s Sallah gathering. Madam Jumoke accused me of staring at her and threatened to deal with me.
“The shocking thing about her utterances was that, at no point did I have any close contact with her; not to say I attempted any form of attack on her.
“The worrying bit about her utterance and actions is that Madam Jumoke seems to be clairvoyant and can see things that don’t exist. Madam Jumoke was seated about 15 huge tables away from where I stood with the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to receive His Excellency who was making the rounds greeting and taking pictures with guests.
“I noticed Madam Jumoke’s visible agitation as she wagged her hand towards my direction in a threatening manner when she said “you are staring at me! I will deal with you!!” Naturally, I was shocked by Madam Jumoke’s conduct so I informed party leaders present,” she revealed.
Ms Alli-Balogun added that the leaders promised to look into the matter and asked that she should go on with my dancing.
She added, “However, I thought it imperative to notify APC State Chairman of my experience with Madam Jumoke Okoya-Thomas during the governor’s sallah gathering.
She narrated further, “I visited the State Party Chairman on Thursday 23rd of August, 2018 but he had left, I called and booked an appointment for Monday 27th of August, 2018 to which the party State Chairman agreed.
“On the fateful day, I went to the State Chairman’s office in company of three senior women of the party to inform him of Madam Jumoke’s threat to deal with me.
“As fate would have it, I was informed that the State Chairman was in a meeting.
“While waiting, Madam Jumoke exited the Chairman’s office and later returned to the office about 10mins later. All this while I was at the reception area of the Chairman’s office with the three women who accompanied me there.
“After waiting for an additional 30mins, I decided to leave as it was apparent Madam Jumoke was going to be in the office for a long time. On my way to the South-West Women leader’s office within the party secretariat, I was apprehended by Madam Jumoke’s PA (Alhaja Abiodun) and her police orderly.
“They both descended on me with slaps, blows and lashes from a horse whip wielded by the police orderly attached to Madam Jumoke.
“I naturally attempted to defend myself and detached myself from the stronghold of the vicious Alhaja Biodun. I then returned to the Chairman’s office to show him my battered face, body and clothes.
“About an hour later in Mrs Kemi Nelson’s office in the presence of Deputy and Vice Chairman of the party. Six hefty fierce looking men in black Tee-shirts with scorpion drawn on them burst into the South-West Women Leader’s office.
“They told us they are from Lagos Island and have been directed to kill Mrs Kemi Nelson and me.
“Mrs Jumoke Okoya-Thomas at some point during the assault came into Mrs Kemi Nelson’s office shouting that “Kemi Nelson is in the toilet, she must be killed! Once she’s killed her followers would disperse” in Yoruba.
“The armed men beat up everyone found in Mrs Kemi Nelson’s office. The most horrifying thing is the stabbing of Mrs Kemi Nelson’s Chief Security Officer for not telling them (cultists) where Kemi Nelson and I were.
“Every equipment found in Mrs Kemi Nelson’s party office were destroyed! We were rescued by a team of the Nigeria Police Force about an hour later.
“Whilst Madam Jumoke Okoya-Thomas was speaking to the police Area Commander who visited the party secretariat; she was quoted to have said to the Commander that “she was fighting for her right”, “she admitted inviting the armed men in black Tee/shirt with scorpion drawn on the back and refused Alhaja Biodun to be interrogated by the police at the Party’s State secretariat.
“I am immensely grateful to God for sparing the lives of Mrs Kemi Nelson, team of women with us and also my good self.”
Information however, revealed that the camp of Mrs Jumoke Okoya-Thomas has taken to both the online and offline media to disparage Mrs Kemi Nelson, alleging that her supporters were the first to attack those of Mrs Jumoke Okoya-Thomas.
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