Ahead of the October 10 gubernatorial election in Ondo State, the two major parties, All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are trading blames over their supporters’ clash on Tuesday at Ipele and Owo towns which left several persons injured and vehicles damaged.
Confirming the clash, both parties accused each other of masterminding the attacks.
Kayode Fashua, the spokesman for the Eyitayo Jegede campaign, in a statement, explained that the convoy of the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, was attacked in Ipele and Owo Township in Owo Local Government “by heavily armed APC political thugs.”
He also said a PDP member, Amuda Sikiru, was shot in the face and abdomen by the APC thugs during the Party’s campaign rally in Owo town.
Mr Fashua also said the victim was rushed to the State’s specialist hospital in Akure.
According to him, two other PDP supporters, Taye Akintufede and Seun Ogunlade, were also shot.
“Besides, some of our campaign vehicles were damaged, as was witnessed in Oba-Akoko community recently,” the PDP campaign spokesman further said.
“One of the convoy’s campaign trucks was completely burnt down.
“Earlier in the day, the same APC armed hoodlums had blocked the entry point to Ipele community, Jegede’s maternal home, and attempted to turn back the campaign team.
“This spate of attacks on our members by the ruling party in the State is threatening the peace of the State, and is apparently intended to cause violence ahead of the October 10 governorship election.”
Refuting the claims, the Akeredolu campaign spokesman, Olatunde Olabode, said Mr Jegede “ordered his thugs to unleash coordinated attacks on the innocent people of Ipele and Ijebu in Owo local government area.”
“Our people were traumatised with the sound of gunshots sporadically by Eyiyato Jegede’s thugs in Owo today,” Mr Olabode said.
“Earlier today, on our way to Akoko Southwest in continuation of our local government campaign in Akoko South-west, we noticed that all our billboards and banners have been destroyed at Emure junction.
“Sensing that the PDP might be in the main town, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu ordered his campaign convoy to take another route out of the town.
“Despite this, Eyitayo Jegede and the PDP still went ahead to cause mayhem in Owo by attacking innocent members of the public and anyone with APC or Akeredolu branded caps or T-Shirt.”
Mr Olabode said “no fewer than 20 cars were destroyed and many innocent people of Ipele and Ijebu Owo injured”.
He said motorcycles were burnt “and the streets of Ipele littered with shell of bullets.”
“We want to place it on record that Eyitayo Jegede is drumming beat of war. We are preparing for an election that will be determined by the people of this State. The people of Owo are oppressed and victimised by the PDP today,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Police Command in Ondo has confirmed the mayhem.
A spokesman said the police would investigate the situation “to determine the group which started the crisis.”
“There are accusations and counter accusations from the two parties, but the fact is that thugs from both parties engaged themselves in a fight,” said Tee Leo-Ikoro, the Police Public Relations Officer in Ondo State.
“What we are doing now is to determine which group first launched an attack, and then we will make them examples of how not to breach the peace,” he said.
On Wed, Sep 30, 2020, 12:37 Abayomi Gbeleyi <email@example.com> wrote: