As the Osun State governorship election draws nigh, one person has been reported dead as members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party and the All Progressive Congress, Monday clashed in Ile-Ife, hometown of the PDP flagbearer, Senator Iyiola Omisore.
The incident occurred at Gbodo area, behind the palace of Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade. Omisore however blamed some chieftains of the APC as the mastermind of the fracas.
Speaking through the Director of Publicity for his campaign organization, Prince Diran Odeyemi, the PDP candidate said the attackers were led by APC chieftains including a member of the House of Representatives, Hon Rotimi Makinde, one Dayo Eluyemi and the chairmen of the two local government councils in Ile-Ife.
According to the PDP candidate, “the attack was carried out by the State Boys, a group of political thugs funded by the state government.
“The coordinated attack on PDP members was launched immediately after a purported rally of the APC addressed and coordinated by the Honorable Rotimi Makinde”.
He added “more than six vehicles belonging to innocent PDP members have been destroyed, countless numbers of shops razed and looted and several members of our party beaten and attacked with machetes”.
“We have implored our members to remain law abiding while we have notified the police and other security agencies of this unwarranted attacks on innocent PDP members who are going about their lawful business”.
APC spokesperson in the state, Mr Kunle Oyatomi in his reaction however said it was the PDP members that first attacked APC members during a door to door campaign. “It is a pity that the PDP is looking for power that it cannot give itself”.
“We have nothing to fear in Ile Ife. And this was demonstrated at our maiden mega rally right at the centre of the ancient town. People came in their thousands and show support and solidarity in a manner that any first timer in Ile Ife would readily believe and truly so, that Aregbesola has no competitor in the State. Before Omisore stepped into the arena, Osun has been peaceful under Aregbesola. But a potentially treat to violence surfaced with Omisore over interest in becoming governor”.
“The question all intelligent people should ask themselves is how can a government of APC that is conscious of critical relationship between peace and development turn round to create violence to stall the very same socio and environmental development it has brought about in Osun?”
“In whose interest, therefore is violence necessary in Osun if not the PDP? Accusing the APC of violence is PDP’s antics to divert attention from its own criminality”, Oyatomi said.
Police Public Relation Officer in the state, DSP Folashade Odoro confirmed the incident, but said the situation was under control.